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Full text of "Chicago and its Jews; a cultural history;"

LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 

AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 



296 



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cop. 2 



I.H.S 




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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://www.archive.org/details/chicagoitsjewscuOOilbreg 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



PHILIP P. BREGSTONE 



CHICAGO 
AND ITS JEWS 



A CULTURAL HISTORY 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION 
BY JULIAN W. MACK 



Privately Published 



COPYRIGHT, 1933, BY 
PHILIP P. BREGSTONE 



Printed in the United States of America 



21 L 



VJccc~, 






TO LEO F. WORMSER, 

In appreciation of his many sided 
cultural attainments, his service to 
humanity and his sincere friendship, 

This volume is dedicated. 



si 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

DEEP and sincere gratitude I owe to my distinguished friend 
Dr. Gerson B. Levi, Rabbi of Isaiah-Israel Temple and 
editor of the "Reform Advocate". Generously, he granted 
me the use of his great erudition, profound scholarship as well 
as his vast experience in the art of journalism and literature, all of 
which proved of immense value. Of no less value was the freedom 
with which I was permitted to use the columns of his publication, 
never hampered or interfered with in the slightest degree. His 
precious time was always at my service; he was never too busy to 
advise and plan with me to make this history a true record of 
Jewish achievements. 

I am also appreciative of the kind support and cooperation I re- 
ceived from Mr. Joseph C. Friedman and Miss Marie Markman, 
both of the "Reform Advocate" staff. Their abundant aid in sup- 
plying me with data and arranging the material, saved me con- 
siderable time and labor in the technical construction of my work. 

Of the great contribution made by my daughter Rochelle Liv- 
ingston, I can speak neither in a sense of gratitude nor even of 
appreciation, but as a father whose heart is filled with pride and 
love. If this volume possesses any merit, much of the credit is 
due her. 

THE AUTHOR. 



XI 



AUTHOR'S PREFACE 

AS I send forth this volume to the reading public, I pause 
to make a few explanations at the very outset. From 
the very beginning I have dwelt primarily on the cultural 
aspect of the Jews in Chicago possibly at the expense of achieving 
a not altogether chronological history in the orthodox sense. I 
have also deviated from the prescribed ideal of objectivity, by al- 
lowing myself, at various points, to express my own views and 
my own comments upon issues of vast importance to the com- 
munity, a privilege which can not be denied me when it is borne 
in mind how almost impossible it would have been for an author 
to remain utterly objective while chronicling events in which he 
played no small part. Men look upon events through their own 
eyes and judge by their own experience. "I often wish I could 
look upon the universe through the eyes of a monkey," said a well- 
known writer and critic. No man can shake off his century-old 
traditions, discard his innate views, and surrender his convictions. 

As for the rest, the manner in which history is supposed to be 
written, the question of which data are to be set forth and which 
discarded and what methods should be employed in gathering 
material is still as debatable a question as when Thomas Buckle 
wrote the "History of Civilization." 

And so following no set rule except that of accuracy, suffering 
no limitations except those of truth and my own conscience, I 
strove to trace insofar as possible all the causes and effects, the 
struggles and conflicts, the sacrifices and ambitions which went 
into the boiling pot and melted down into the Jewish community 
in Chicago today. 

I have tried to present my characters less as a glorious pageant 
moving steadily and surely towards some definite goal, than as 

XIII 



AUTHOR'S PREFACE 

the colorful figures on a canvas, standing out against the lights 
and shadows of causes lost and won. I have tried earnestly to 
restrain my hand from putting the pigment on too heavily in 
some instances and too sparingly in others. I have tried to stand off 
from my picture and get a true perspective in order to avoid 
magnifying small creatures and robbing large ones of their stature. 
I have removed from my eyes the glass which discerned the feet 
of clay on idols and distorted the features of saints. If I have 
failed to present the gigantic spectacle of the struggle for culture 
of a people assembled here from all parts of the civilized world, 
the only defense I can urge is, I am human! 



XIV 



CONTENTS 



Acknowledgment xi 

Author's Preface . xin 

Introduction — Julian W. Mack xix 



PART ONE 



I. Musings and Reflections i 

II. The Physical Chicago 3 

III. Spiritual Chicago 5 

IV. A Half Forgotten Tragedy 10 

V. Spiritual Forces 14 

VI. Early Philanthropies 19 

VII. Back to the Soil 22 

VIII. Seers and Leaders 25 

IX. Children of the Immigrants 30 

X. The Rise of Reform Judaism 33 

XI. New Type of Rabbis 35 

XII. Noteworthy Celebration 38 

XIII. Bloodless Revolution 41 

XIV. Triumph of Justice 46 
XV. A Resented Philanthropy 48 

XVI. Fraternalism 51 

XVII. Parliament and "Stockexchange of Ideas" 54 

XVIII. The Jewish Labor Movement 59 

* XIX. Religious Instruction and Jewish Education 62 

XX. The Hungry Years 65 

XXI. Mothers in Israel 70 

XXII. Biblical Spirit of Charity 72 

XXIII. The Poet Is Dead! Long Live Poetry! 73 

XXIV. Master of Conditions 75 

XXV. The B'nai B'rith Makes Progress 81 

XXVI. Romance in History 87 

XXVII. Invasion of Foreign Territory 90 

XXVIII. Patria Mia 94 

XXIX. The New Spirit 97 



XV 



CONTENTS 



I. 

II. 

III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 

XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 

XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 

XVIII. 

XIX. 

XX. 

XXI. 

XXII. 

XXIII. 



I. 
II. 
III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VHL 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 



PART TWO 

Revolt of the Immigrant 101 

New Aspirations 106 

Land of Opportunity in 

Influence of Fraternal Organizations 113 

The Weaving of a Dream 116 

The Burden of Distributing Great Wealth 121 

Analysis of a Soul 124 

The Blending of Two Cultures 127 

Brothers in Sorrow 132 

Jewish Heroes 139 

A Neglected Duty 140 

New Germany 143 

Rabbi and Doctor 145 

The South Side 148 

The Voice of Youth 150 

A Many-Sided Personality 154 

Onward! Onward! 156 

Mothers and Daughters 162 

Men Who Dared 168 

Armistice Without Peace 

A Banquet Without Food 171 

Three Religious Leaders 174 

From Kishineff to Chicago 180 

Conquest of Conditions 186 

PART THREE 

A New Generation 195 

Jews in Higher Learning 198 

Jews Against Jews 202 

After the Clash 208 

Internal Strife 211 

A Reform Beth Midrash 217 

Development of a Movement 221 

Paws of the Russian Bear 225 

Three Brothers 228 

More Types of Womankind 231 

Arch Humorist 236 

XVI 



CONTENTS 



XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 

XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 

XVIII. 

XIX. 

XX. 

XXI. 

XXII. 

XXIII. 

XXIV. 

XXV. 

XXVI. 

XXVII. 

XXVIII. 

XXIX. 



I. 
II. 

III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XL 

XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 

XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 



East and West 238 

An American Herzl 245 

American Jewish Congress 249 

New Teachers in Israel 252 

The Birth of a Spiritual Child 261 

Another Example of the New Generation 266 

Reform and Conservatism 270 

Little Mother and Big Brother 275 

Men Who Fought Poverty 279 

Sons of Their Sires 283 

A Dream Realized 291 

Romance and Science 293 

Out of Chaos Came Order 296 

Judicum 300 

A Stepping Stone to Higher Honors 308 

Jews in the Public Eye 312 

Cook County Kosher Kitchen 319 

A Second Ararat That Failed 324 

PART FOUR 

The Mightier Weapon 331 

WlELDERS OF THE PEN 338 

Dostoievsky in the Ghetto 343 

A Yiddish Pantheon 348 

The Yiddish Stage 355 

Anglo-Jewish Publications 358 

Publisher, Traveler and Lecturer 363 

Journalists and Authors 364 

The Pen and the Pallette 369 

A Woman Historian 372 

Magic Sound 374 

Merchant, Philanthropist and Artist 377 

The Language of the Soul 380 

Contemporary Musical Artists 384 

Rosa Raisa 392 

Form and Color 396 

Jewish Art and Artists 400 



XVII 



INTRODUCTION 
By Julian W. Mac{ 

OF THE forms in literature, history is regarded by many 
as the most important. Francis Bacon calls it: "the basis 
of all science and knowledge". Carlyle with the ancients, 
deems Clio, the goddess of history, the chief of the muses. Cer- 
tainly, no national life is possible without a knowledge of the 
history of the people, and so Graetz with his "History of the Jews" 
made a vital contribution to the Jewish national movement. 

What impressed me first when I saw the present volume 
"Chicago and its Jews" in manuscript form was the style and the 
diction, but when I had read even the early chapters, I felt that 
this was a work that possessed far more than literary merit. While 
I had known the author for many years, both as a lawyer and as 
a man profoundly interested in social welfare, as I read chapter 
after chapter he revealed himself to me in a new light. Myself 
a Chicagoan, who came there to live only three years later than 
Mr. Bregstone, I marvelled at his memory for incidents and events 
which at the time I had known but which I had completely for- 
gotten, as well as at his power of graphic depicture. I feel sure 
that this history will recall to others as it did to me, many interest- 
ing episodes of the last decade of the nineteenth century and the 
early years of the twentieth century; the participants will, in his 
pages, live them over again. 

He tells us in his preface that this is not a chronological but a 
cultural history. I am inclined to consider it both, for the history 
of the cultural rise of the Jews of Chicago runs parallel with their 
social and economic development. While "Chicago and its Jews" 
is in the nature of things a local history, it deals, nevertheless with 
matters of universal interest. 

XIX 



INTRODUCTION 

It is quite apparent that Mr. Bregstone knows the many theories 
and philosophies as to what constitutes history and how it should 
be written. But above all, he has a thorough knowledge of the 
various movements in the life of the Jewish people and he is sym- 
pathetic to each of them. He is frank in his views and approaches 
every phase of every movement without prejudice. He treats the 
history of the Jewish radical movement with the same warmth as 
he treats the birth of the Zionist movement. 

His men and women have all contributed to culture in one 
form or another; and he picks them from all classes: rich and 
poor, German and Russian, Orthodox and Reform; he shows no 
favoritism. He seeks earnestly to explain every phase of life and 
trace many clashes that struck sparks of spiritual value, back to 
their sources in past generations. 

Of particular importance in this history is the portrayal of the 
growth of the relations between the two groups of Jewry; the ortho- 
dox and reform or more correctly, the Jews that came from Eastern 
Europe and those that came from Central and Western Europe. 
He clearly indicates the struggle of the former to free themselves 
from a feeling of dependency on the latter and by the development 
of their own rich cultural and spiritual inheritance to participate 
fully and at least equally in the now well nigh complete union of 
the diverse Jewish elements of our community. 

Mr. Bregstone has thus made a valuable contribution to the 
history of the Jews of Chicago, indeed, to that of the Jews of 
America. 




xx 



PART ONE 



I 

MUSINGS AND REFLECTIONS 

THERE is no yesterday in the springtime of life. The eyes 
of youth never turn to the past; they look forward to pene- 
trate the unborn tomorrow. Youth dwells in the future; its 
hopes and aspirations, its dreams and air castles abide in the realms 
of the prospective. Retrospection arrives after the fading of spring, 
after we have passed the meridian of life. When disillusionment 
darkens the horizon, and many stars in the constellation of the soul 
have become extinct, when winter enters the heart and chills the 
fluids of life, snow flakes whiten the locks and mist dims the eyes; 
then vision grows dark and nocturnal and tries no longer to pierce 
through the future; it returns to the yesterday. We gaze upon the 
long vista of time which lies behind us; we muse on the past, on 
the ruins of our castles on the smoke of our dreams and on all 
the frustrated hopes and aspirations. Tomorrow is dead! Long 
live Yesterday! 

I have crossed the zenith of life. The autumn chills me and 
my eyes are growing dim. The future charms me no more. I am 
lost in a maze of memories, in a labyrinth of recollections of the 
many happenings in the days of my youth, now buried in the abyss 
of time. Like the "Last of the Mohicans" I sit on the stump of an 
old tree, smoking a pipe filled with cinders of the ruins of the un- 
fulfilled desires. I am weaving the threads of my memories on 
the loom of time and space. . . . 

On a bright starry night, the twenty-eighth of May, in the year 
1887, the stately steamer Vesuvius approached the gates of the 
Western World. She cast her anchors in the harbor of New York. 
For hours a youth of twenty has been standing on the upper deck, 
his eyes gazing on the mighty figure of the Goddess of Liberty, 
as she stood there in all her majestic dignity, sending illuminating 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

rays of light to all the corners of the earth. Her arms outstretched, 
as she beckons to all the oppressed and persecuted children of 
humanity to come close to her bosom and find a refuge in the 
land of the free and the brave; in the land of equality and 
opportunity. 

An announcement had been made by the authorities of the 
ship that no passenger would set foot on the sacred ground of 
the promised land until the following morning. The steerage pas- 
sengers were ordered to retire to their bunks. The youthful im- 
migrant was in a feverish state of mind. Sleep had lost its power 
over him, and the thought of a sleepless night on a bunk in the 
steerage, on this of all nights, was most painful. 

During the first days of his voyage he formed an acquaintance 
with the ship's surgeon, a young German of the Junker type. On 
several occasions the youth had acted as interpreter between the 
doctor and the steerage passenger-patients. The Doctor took a lik- 
ing to the Yiddish lad who could converse fluently in his beloved 
German and recite the poems of his two favorite poets: Koerner 
and Uhland. 

Thus, through the influence of the Doctor, he gained permission 
to spend the last night of his voyage on the upper deck of the 
steamer. As he now stood looking out on the new world, a thought 
flashed across his mind, he was suddenly reminded that this was 
the eve of Shebueth, (Pentecost) when all pious Jews remain in 
the Synagogue throughout the night, reading the Tikun Shebueth 
to purify their minds, to become fit to receive the Torah . . . Was 
he not to receive on the following morning the new Decalogue 
which had been handed down amidst the thunder and lightning 
of cannons, to the children of the Colonists? Was he not to sub- 
scribe to the Declaration of Independence, which had been inspired 
by the all-powerful spirit of Liberty; and brought by Thomas 
Jefferson, a modern Moses, down to Independence Hall? 

True to his Jewish traditions, he remained awake throughout 
the night watching and waiting for the "opening of the skies . . ." 
In the morning he was the first to descend the gangplank to enter 
Castle Garden. . . . 

2 



THE PHYSICAL CHICAGO 

It was thus I entered the great city of New York, the reception 
hall to the Western world. 

II 

THE PHYSICAL CHICAGO 

After spending several weeks in New York, with friends and 
relatives, I came to Chicago. Those who know the magnificent 
Chicago of today and who may chance to peruse these pages will 
probably charge me with a faulty memory or as one given to 
exaggeration. I can assure them that neither is true. My recollec- 
tions are vivid and as chronicler of past events I am too conscious 
of my duty to record anything but the truth. 

The prairie-city impressed me most unfavorably and fell far be- 
low my expectations. It lacked the appearance of a really cosmo- 
politan city, it resembled a combination of many villages, each of 
which was composed of a particular racial or national group. The 
South-west was made up of Bohemians, the North-west of Poles, 
the North of Germans, the Middlewest of Irish, and the near South, 
west of State street was colored. China and Italy also had their 
places in the setting. 

The Jewish ghetto was in a process of moving. Before the two 
fires, the early Jewish immigrants built their ghetto in that part 
of the city which is now known as the downtown district; there 
it reposed for two decades or more. It was bounded on the west 
by Wells street, on the east by Michigan avenue, on the north by 
Jackson Boulevard and on the south side, by Twelfth street. The 
beautiful "Boul Mich," now the pride of the city, was settled with 
Jews, occupying as dwelling places two-story wooden houses that 
were located on the sites now boasting the Fine Arts building, the 
Auditorium, Congress, Blackstone and Stevens Hotels. 

With the growth of the city's population the business section 
grew with great rapidity, spreading out on all sides. Real estate 
was greatly enhanced in value and at the same time ceased to be 
desirable for residential purposes. The ghetto packed its belong- 
ings and moved across the river. 

3 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Canal street was elevated to the position of a "business" street 
and Jefferson street became the boulevard of the new ghetto. All 
the intersecting streets, from Polk to Fourteenth streets, as far 
west as Halsted street were conquered by the new invaders. 

In appearance Chicago was a most ungainly city, the streets were 
in a dilapidated condition; most of them had never been paved. 
Mud, slush and deep holes abounded everywhere. It was danger- 
ous to drive a wagon in many of the streets. The "paved" streets 
were in a still worse condition; the pavement uniformly consisted 
of wooden blocks coated with tar and covered with gravel, which 
when stirred by wind or traffic gave off clouds of dust. When the 
streets received a sprinkling either from the hands of God or by 
human efforts, the dust turned into slush and the streets became 
slippery. The sidewalks were simple rows of wooden planks, laid 
across three lines of timber supported by posts and elevated high 
above the level of the streets. Crude, cheaply constructed stairways 
led to the intersecting streets and alleys. The houses too were 
perched on high posts as if disdaining the swampy black sponge 
below them. 

Horsecars furnished the means of transportation in the sprawling 
city, except on State street and Cottage Grove avenue where the 
cars were drawn by cable. "Downtown" was the terminus of all 
car lines and from there they radiated as far north as Center street, 
south, to Thirty-ninth street and west, to Western avenue. 

And yet, there was a certain natural beauty in the ugliness of 
the windy city on the hem of Lake Michigan. Its virtues were those 
usually found in small towns before they become defiled by the 
smoke and soot of our commercial civilization. Leafy trees shaded 
the streets of the newly converted ghetto, still innocent of the 
tenement houses. The streets that now shelter the peddlers' push- 
carts and stands where old clothes and other wares are bartered: 
Judd street, O'Brien street, Maxwell street and Liberty street were 
adorned with little gardens in front of every home and were used 
for Lover's Lanes by the parents and grand parents of some of 
us. It was the Garden of Eden before Eve tasted of the forbidden 
fruit of Knowledge. . . . 

4 



SPIRITUAL CHICAGO 

III 

SPIRITUAL CHICAGO 

The physical usually reflects the spiritual and Chicago was no 
exception to this rule; spiritual Chicago was not better than its 
physical aspect. The absence of beauty, order, cleanliness, good 
streets and sidewalks denoted a lack of communal pride, efficient 
government and a want of interest in civic affairs; but it also 
showed a generally apathetic disinterest on the part of the men 
and women who were the builders of this new metropolis in the 
cultural and esthetic. The newly rich were absorbed, in this era 
of uncertain social status, with the pursuit to establish social recog- 
nition. They had no time for such things as music, drama, the 
plastic arts and higher education, that abounds in every European 
city, no matter how small, all these were absent in this city whose 
population has already grown to close to a million. 

No art gallery, no museum, no opera-house and no orchestra-hall 
supplied the needs of those who craved the arts. The University 
of Chicago was in existence, but only on paper, the public library 
was here but without a home to shelter it; it occupied quarters on 
the fourth floor of the old City Hall building and therefore lacked 
adequate reading and reference rooms. Its contents too were ex- 
tremely poor. A large quantity of cheap fiction covered the walls 
but it contained very little of scientific, philosophic and literary 
value. The foreign languages were almost entirely absent, with 
the exception of a smattering of antiquated German "Romannen". 

"Wie es Christelt sich, so Jiidelt sich," was said by a humorist. 
Through centuries of wandering, the Jews have developed a capac- 
ity for adjusting themselves easily to their environment; thus they 
have become the barometer for the national cultures wherein they 
dwell. They manifest initiative proclivities only on rare occasions; 
more often, they are apt pupils and splendid followers. In the 
early development of Chicago, the Jews did take the lead in one 
phase of culture, that of music. This we will discuss in another 
chapter. 

The Jews from Eastern Europe, had at this time two ghettos, the 

5 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

South-side ghetto which they were evacuating and the West-side 
ghetto in which they were establishing themselves. The old ghetto 
had two synagogues, each presided over by a distinguished and 
venerable Rabbi, Rabbi A. G. Lesser and Rabbi Eliezer Anixter, 
both widely famed for their profound Talmudic scholarship, their 
piety and their devotion to the Jewish cause as well as to the 
cause of humanity. The new ghetto, west of the river also enjoyed 
two synagogues: "Ohave Sholom, Mariampole" with a temporary 
place for worship on the corner of Canal and Maxwell streets, while 
a new edifice was in the process of construction, one block south. 
Rabbi Abraham S. Braude, its spiritual leader was an exceptional 
type of Rabbi. In addition to his great versatility in Talmudic and 
Rabbinical law, he was of gentle disposition, kind to everybody and 
beloved by all; although very pious he was broad-minded towards 
those who differed with him on religious as well as other subjects. 
Nor did his interest in universal matters suffer from his piety and 
devotion to the cause of religion. Unlike many Orthodox Rabbis, 
he was well informed on matters of human affairs. 

The "Anshe Suvalk" congregation was located with temporary 
quarters for prayer in the same block as the "Anshe Sholom" con- 
gregation. Rabbi Joseph Komissarsky, a saintly soul, with a phil- 
osophic turn of mind, was its officiating Rabbi. The congregation 
was short-lived; it merged with another body and the Rabbi whose 
spirit of independence rebelled against the submission to the domi- 
nation of congregational officials, withdrew from the rabbinate to 
spend a fruitful life in the sanctuary of his library, among the sages 
and philosophers of past ages. Several other congregations were in 
an embryonic state, among which was the "K'nesseth Anshe Israel." 

The more fortunate Jews who came hither from the Rhenish 
provinces, a quarter of a century before, during the tumultuous days 
of the revolutionary period of Eighteen forty-eight, also formed 
two separate settlements and built two Temples on the south side 
and one on the west side. The two on the South side were "Kehilath 
Anshe Maariv" with Rabbi I. S. Moses as its spiritual leader, and 
"Sinai Temple" from which Dr. Emil G. Hirsch projected his in- 
fluence trhoughout the land. Sinai Temple was located on Indiana 

6 



SPIRITUAL CHICAGO 

avenue and Twenty-first street. On the west side, the first temple 
was built on Adams and Johnson streets, but was later moved 
to a more ostentatious edifice on Washington boulevard and Ogden 
avenue; its name was "Zion Temple" and Dr. Bernard Felsenthal 
occupied its pulpit. 

The Bohemian Jews constituted a third and distinct group; they 
were too far advanced in their religious views to join with the 
Orthodox group, and too conservative for Reform Judaism. Hence 
they formed a congregation of their own and erected a house of 
worship on the corner of Brown and Henry streets. Rabbi Abraham 
R. Levy ministered to their spiritual needs. 

Most of the members who joined the Reform Congregations 
were still of the first generation and German was their mother- 
tongue, therefore the services in the Temples were conducted most- 
ly in the German language, the original "Einhorn" prayerbook was 
used and the sermons too were usually preached in German. 

Two weekly newspapers, devoted to the cause of Reform Juda- 
ism, were printed in English: the "Occident" published by Mr. 
Silversmith, whose columns were often used by Dr. Hirsch, where 
he contributed philosophic essays on Judaism; and the "Israelite" 
whose editorial policies were dictated from Cincinnati, by Dr. Isaac 
Meyer Wise, founder and head of the Hebrew Union College. The 
Israelite often enriched the thoughts of its readers by the profound 
reflections and classical essays contributed by Dr. Bernard Fel- 
senthal. 

Orthodox Jewry was voiceless and speechless; it had no publica- 
tion to champion its cause and no one to speak for it in the councils 
of Religion. Except for its activities in the synagogues and temples, 
no sign of spiritual life was visible and no manifestation of a com- 
munity interest was in evidence. 

The United Hebrew Charities had been organized early in the 
Seventies, with two departments: the relief office and the Michael 
Reese Hospital. It was supported mainly by the "German" Jews, 
as the new immigrants from Eastern Europe were in no financial 
condition to contribute to organized charity. 

In taking a retrospective view of the period when the first kernels 

7 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

were planted which brought into being the Jewish community, 
we must bear in mind the social and economic status of the im- 
migrants who but recently arrived in the United States. The heavy 
influx of Jews into this country began in the early Eighties, with 
the outbreak of frequent Pogroms in Russia which started shortly 
after the assassination of Czar Alexander II. They came here to 
escape persecution, plunder and even murder; obviously, in their 
flight they carried no wealth with them. Indeed, many of them 
came who did not have the means to buy food for themselves and 
their dependents. The time that elapsed between the date of their 
coming and the period under consideration was much too short 
to have enabled them to adjust themselves properly in the new en- 
vironment and acquire wealth. The struggle had just begun. The 
young man who had spent his whole life in studying the Talmud 
in the synagogue or the Yeshivah, yonder in the "Old Country," 
the lad on whom many mothers of marriageable daughters had 
looked with covetous eyes, entered the factory or the sweat shop 
to become an operator on knee pants or shirt-waists. The former 
"First Class Merchant" from Odessa, Charkoff, Petersburg or 
Warsaw, had become a Customer Peddler. Many were forced to 
peddle rags and old iron; still others placed packs of dry goods 
on their backs and took to "the open road" and became "Country 
Peddlers." 

All were poor and burdened with the responsibility of supporting 
themselves and those dependent on them. But they had still other 
cares, burdens heavier than the packs which they strapped to their 
shoulders — to send enough money to Europe to fetch their rela- 
tives. The struggle was terrific and there were very few wealthy 
Jews among them. Under these distressing conditions, no thought 
could be entertained of formulating a social life. Each person car- 
ried his own load and tried to work out his own salvation. 

The United Hebrew Charities, with Mr. Kiss as its superintend- 
ent, exerted every effort to bring succor and alleviate want and 
suffering wherever possible, but — be it said to the credit of the 
immigrants — very few accepted charity; thousands and tens of 
thousands preferred want to alms. The Reform, or as they were 

8 



SPIRITUAL CHICAGO 

more specifically designated, die "German" Jews, extended great 
hospitality and real brotherly love to their unhappy co-religionists. 
They received them with open arms, but were conscious of a con- 
descension towards them. Because the German Jews had met with 
a kindlier fate, they had by this time acquired wealth and position, 
they considered themselves superior to the "refugees." In the course 
of time this feeling created a deep gulf between the two, which the 
ensuing half century has not yet entirely spanned. 

While conditions made a communal and spiritual life almost im- 
possible, yet the Jewish spirit is indomitable. The newly arrived 
Jews brought with them certain ideals and traditions which they 
regarded even greater than life itself. Many of these ideals and 
traditions take the form of rites which can be practiced only in an 
organized community. Hence, the people were forced by these 
traditions to form a social contact with their fellow Jews. The most 
important of all is the "V'shenantem L'bonecho" (and thou shalt 
teach them diligently unto thy sons). This is interpreted to mean a 
"Talmud Torah" which is higher than all things. A Talmud Torah 
must have the support of a community; it can be established and 
sustained only by a united effort. Even of greater importance are 
the dietary laws (Kosher food), which require the services of a 
Schochet and a Rabbi and therefore must have the cooperation of 
many. To secure the purity and chastity of the family life the 
Mikwah is needed, all of which can only be maintained by com- 
munity effort. These institutions cannot exist in the absence of 
a social organism. 

To four men may be given the credit for having laid the foun- 
dation for the building of a social and communal life among 
Orthodox Jews in Chicago. All four were immigrants from East- 
ern Europe. They were Abraham Lieberman, Marks Nathan, Jacob 
Cohen and Joseph M. Berkson. These four were the first Russian 
Jews in Chicago to manifest a philanthropic spirit and render 
service to the Jewish community. Lieberman and Nathan lived 
on the south side and were the pillars of the old ghetto; they were 
pious but generous and took upon themselves the task of looking 
after the interests of the poor and unfortunate new arrivals. Cohen 

9 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

and Berkson lived in die new Ghetto and accomplished on the west 
side the same noble task that the other two did on the south side. 
The four were the leading spirits in the organization of the first 
Talmud Torah, named after the great English philanthropist Moses 
Montefiore. The most progressive and enterprising of the quartet 
was Jacob Cohen. He was active in the Jewish community and ex- 
erted his influence on matters concerning Orthodox Judaism until 
the day of his last illness. 

IV 

A HALF FORGOTTEN TRAGEDY 

The narrative that follows is no part of a Jewish chronicle and 
would have no place in our history except that it was largely re- 
sponsible for a movement to which we no longer can close our eyes 
and which, in the final analysis, is a cultural movement. This 
tragedy was the forerunner of the radical movement among the 
Jews of Chicago. 

For the sake of accuracy of details I shall quote John P. Altgeld, 
who as Governor of the State of Illinois enacted the last scene of 
the tragedy. 

"On the night of May 4, 1886, a public meeting was held in 
Haymarket Square, in Chicago. There were from 800 to 1000 
people present, nearly all laboring men. There had been trouble, 
growing out of an effort to introduce an eight hour working day, 
resulting in some collisions with the police, in one of which several 
laboring people were killed; and this meeting was called to protest 
against alleged police brutalities. 

"The meeting was orderly and was attended by the Mayor who 
remained until the crowd began to disperse and then he went away. 
As soon as Captain John Bonfield of the Police department learned 
that the Mayor had gone, he took a detachment of police and hur- 
ried to the meeting for the purpose of dispersing the few that re- 
mained. As the police approached the place of meeting a bomb 
was thrown by some unknown person which exploded and wound- 
ed many and killed several policemen. A number of people were 

10 



A HALF FORGOTTEN TRAGEDY 

arrested and after a time August Spies, Albert R. Parsons, Louis 
Lingg, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, George Engel, Adolph 
Fischer and Oscar Neebe were indicted on a charge of murder. The 
prosecution could not discover who had thrown the bomb; and 
could not bring the really guilty man to justice and as some of the 
men indicted were not at the Haymarket meeting and had nothing 
to do with it, the prosecution was forced to proceed on the theory 
that the men indicted were guilty of murder, because it was claimed 
they had at various times in the past uttered and printed incendiary 
and seditious language, practically advising the killing of policemen, 
of Pinkerton men and others acting in that capacity, that they were 
therefore responsible for the murder. 

"They were tried before a jury, presided over by Judge Gary and 
after a prolonged trial, they were all found guilty. Neebe was 
sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment, all the other defendants 
were sentenced to be hanged. The case was appealed to the Supreme 
Court." 

When I came to Chicago the case was pending in the Supreme 
Court, awaiting the final decision of that high tribunal. The 
volcano upon which Chicago stood was seething and boiling, as 
if ready to explode at any moment. Every hour brought new and 
fantastic rumors; one was about a social revolution planned by 
the toilers, an hour later the press reported with minutest detail 
news of an "enormous armory filled with ammunition and fire 
arms" which was discovered by the police. The very air was charged 
with forebodings. 

Early in the fall of 1887 the Supreme Court handed down an 
opinion, in which it sustained the verdict of the jury and the sen- 
tence of the trial court. The date of execution was set for the 
eleventh of November. Gripped by convulsions the public was 
seized by a general feeling that something terrible was going to 
happen, but no one knew precisely what that "something" was 
to be. 

The remaining few months, until the day of the execution, were 
attended by many sensations. When the proceedings were had 
before the jury, August Spies displayed qualities uncommon even 

11 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

to editors of radical newspapers (at the time of his arrest he was 
the editor in chief of the "Arbeiter Zeitung" a German daily, de- 
voted to the cause of labor, with anarchistic tendencies) but his 
supreme achievement was when he was called before the judge 
and was addressed in the usual formula: "Have you anything to 
say why sentence should not be passed on you?" He delivered one 
of the greatest orations in the annals of history; the order of things 
seemed to have changed and the accused became the accuser. He 
hurled bombs at his enemy, the capitalistic class, not made of ex- 
plosive chemicals, but bombs of logic and science. He was an orator 
of dynamic force and he spoke equally well in English and German. 
He was extremely handsome and his voice was powerful and at 
the same time sweet and melodious, resonant and soft, running the 
gamut from the roaring tones of a lion to an enchanting melody 
played on the muted strings of a violin by the hand of a master. 
He emerged from the oration not like the condemned criminal who 
stood at the bar of justice pleading for his life, but the hero who 
has fought and won a great battle. 

Miss Nina Van Zandt, the beautiful daughter of an eminent 
bank-president, came to court to see and listen to this remarkable 
man and she lost her heart to him. She went to his cell daily and 
Spies returned her love. In the months that followed August Spies 
married Miss Van Zandt through his brother whom he appointed 
as his proxy. Louis Lingg, a youth of twenty-one, a fanatical en- 
thusiast, blew out his brains in a spectacular way, a few days be- 
fore the execution. While conversing with the jail guard he took 
out of his pocket what appeared to be a cigar and asked the guard 
for a match. When Lingg applied the lighted match to the cigar 
it exploded and his head was blown to atoms, thus he cheated the 
hangman out of his job. Sensation after sensation, excitement after 
excitement; with flaming headlines the newspapers with their hour- 
ly "extra," kept the bewildered public mind inflamed. 

At the eleventh hour, a petition to Governor Fifer, asking for 
clemency was prepared and submitted to the six remaining con- 
demned men for their signatures. All but Fischer and Engel re- 

12 



A HALF FORGOTTEN TRAGEDY 

fused to sign the petition, declaring in the words of Patrick Henry : 
"Give me liberty, or give me death!" 

"There will come a time when the voice in the grave will be 
mightier than the voice you have strangled today!" were the last 
words of August Spies, when the noose was around his neck; and 
it was the last of the sensations caused by the great tragedy which 
ended on the eleventh day of November, 1887, in the county jail of 
Cook County. 

The next morning, the "Enemies of Society" were in their coffins, 
silenced forever and "Social order" had triumphed! But the "si- 
lenced voice in the grave" did its mighty work. The younger im- 
migrants from Russia had been told that ours was a land of "milk 
and honey," that it abounds in wealth, this, however, was not the 
main attraction which brought them to our shores. A large number 
of them were engaged in a movement to free Russia from its 
tyrannical autocracy and those not actively participating were in 
sympathy with the movement. There were many of them who 
were readers of history and political and social science, had also 
read the preamble to the constitution which guarantees "life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness." The tragedy that culminated No- 
vember the Eleventh, could not but disillusion them. They were 
dreamers, of an age driven by "Storm and Stress." They awoke to 
the reality of life, that these fine and high sounding words look 
good on paper, but in real life their interpretation assumes a different 
meaning. 

One of the immediate results of the "Half Forgotten Tragedy" 
was "The Jewish Workingmen's Educational Club," with club 
rooms at 450 S. Canal street. It was there that the Jewish labor 
movement, Jewish radicalism, socialism and anarchism in this city, 
first saw the light of the day. Our own view concerning these 
ideas is of no importance; their success or failure is not affected 
by our approval or disapproval, but the Haymarket tragedy is a 
romance which must find a place in all chronicles containing a 
true record of the events of Chicago; it is intensely human in its 
aspect and the cornerstone of the new social philosophy. 

The Jewish Workingmen's Educational Club established a mod- 

13 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

est library, conducted lectures and encouraged public speaking. Its 
leading members were Peter Sissman, Abraham Bisno, Dr. Nahin, 
Dr. Knopfnagel and many whose names have passed from my 
memory. There were also some who are praying that I may forget 
their names, lest this phase of their past become known to the 
world; we shall not disturb those and let their past sink into 
oblivion. 

The organization lasted a few years; the development of two 
opposing factions brought about a dissolution. One faction was 
headed by Sissman and Bisno whose tendencies were towards the 
Socialist Labor party. The other, following the doctrines of Bak- 
hounin and Peter Krapotkin, was led by Dr. Nahin and Dr. Knopf- 
nagel. After the dissolution of the club both factions engaged in 
forming Trade Unions. 

V 

SPIRITUAL FORCES 

The culture which the immigrants from Eastern Europe brought 
to our shores, had no European background and was purely a He- 
braic culture. Its deity was the Haskalah and its shrine was the 
Hebrew language; its apostles and priests were the prophets and 
poets. The ancient language contained all the treasures and gems 
of the "People of the Book," whose graceful muse was the beloved 
sweetheart of Reb Yehudah Halevy, the greatest poet of the middle 
ages. This holy shrine was not to be neglected in a land whose tradi- 
tions and ideals were inspired by the Hebrew Bible. Dr. A. P. Kadi- 
son, a practicing physician, the first Russian Jewish doctor in the city 
to come with a college degree from a European university, took 
the initiative. He was a student of the Talmud and a lover of He- 
brew literature. He was the leader of a group of men who like 
himself were followers of the Haskalah movement and at about 
the same time when the "Jewish Workingmen's Educational Club" 
was formed at 450 S. Canal street, the "Dorshe Safruth Ivrith" 
was formed in the home of Nathan B. Grossberg, on Roosevelt Rd. 
corner of Desplaines street. From the generosity of Dr. Kadison 

14 



SPIRITUAL FORCES 

which was followed by other members of the group, a fine collec- 
tion of books was acquired and the Grossbergs assigned a room 
in their dwelling place for the shelter of the library. Not many 
months later the top floor of a building, located on Canal and Judd 
streets, was rented for permanent headquarters which was properly 
partitioned for reading rooms and all other conveniences. The 
library increased in quantity, quality and in influence; in a short 
time it became a spiritual and intellectual Center for Chicago 
Jewry. 

I have no recourse to any records that contain the names of the 
pioneers who together with Dr. Kadison were instrumental in 
spreading Jewish culture in Chicago; I must therefore rely upon 
my memory for the names of the early members of the "Dorshe 
Safruth Ivrith" and I ask to be pardoned, if in the course of the 
many years some of the names faded from my memory. I am loath 
to omit even a single name, for I regard each of them a potent 
factor in spreading Hebrew culture in the early days of Jewish 
Chicago. 

Among the most outstanding of its members that I can recall 
to mind are Dr. A. P. Kadison, Peter Wiernick and M. Ph. Gins- 
burg. Almost equal in zeal and ardor for the cause of Hebrew 
were Samuel A. Schneider, August Turner, Abraham Bernstein, 
Eliezer Meites, A. S. Roe, Baruch Blumenthal, M. Dulsky, Samuel 
Sklovsky, Nathan B. Grossberg, Issac Levenberg, Louis Rabino- 
wich, Charles Tiktin, W. Wolpe, Hyman Leibowich and Joseph 
Leipunsky. 

Typical of the members of the Hebrew Literary Society was 
August Turner. At the age of twenty-two years he came to Chicago 
from Russia, the only wealth be brought with him consisted of a 
profound knowledge of Hebrew literature, a fine mind and a 
forceful character. He secured his first job as a gilder of picture- 
frames, receiving the munificent sum of three dollars a week as 
wages; out of this amount he paid his weekly dues to help maintain 
the library of the Hebrew Literary Society. 

Not many years after this modest beginning, August Turner 
became known throughout the country as the leading manufacturer 

15 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

in the picture-frame industry. As he grew in wealth and influence 
his concern for the well-being of his people grew steadily in pro- 
portion. His interests became manifold, as to occupy most of his 
time, but Turner seldom if ever missed a meeting of the Board of 
Directors of the Jewish Home for the Aged of which he was a 
member since its organization. His numerous terms as president 
of the B. M. Z., together with his share in various other philan- 
thropic and educational institutions demanded an equal portion of 
his attention. When he died on December 30th 1924 he left to 
his children not only his worldly estate but his ideals and spiritual 
possessions as well. His son Rabbi Jacob Turner and his daughter 
Bell T. Daiches, well-known as a patroness of the arts, have used 
well their heritage. 

One whose memory is worshipped by all scholars of Hebrew 
the world over and who quietly walked the sidewalks of the west 
side ghetto and dreaming the profoundest reflections, was Wolf 
Shur, a real modern Spinoza. He was the editor of the "Hapissgo," 
a scientific and scholarly Hebrew publication; and the author of 
several volumes in Hebrew. Wolf Shur deserves a much larger 
space in these pages, but his descendants could not be reached and 
no data concerning his interesting life and work could be obtained 
and while it was my privilege to spend many hours in his company, 
I was too young and my disposition too stormy to appreciate this 
modest and unassuming philosopher and thinker. 

One evening, in the early autumn of 1887, a few of the Maskilim 
were gathered in the smoking room of the library of the Hebrew 
Literary Society, indulging the luxury of smoking Virginia Brights 
and Sweet Caporal cigarettes, while discussing the latest literary 
genius in Hebrew, when a young man interrupted the conversation. 

"I have important news; We are soon to have a Yiddish news- 
paper and no less a writer than 'Zokuf Godel' is to be the editor." 
He also informed us that Leon Zolotkoff, the brilliant contributor 
of the Jewish-Russian publication "Russky-Evrei" and "Zokuf 
Godel" the Paris correspondent of the Hebrew daily in Petersburg 
was one and the same person; that he was on his way to Chicago 

16 



SPIRITUAL FORCES 

to join Peter Wiernick and the two were going to establish a Yid- 
dish newspaper. 

A few days later, Leon Zolotkoff arrived in Chicago; shortly 
after his arrival "Der Yiddisher Courier" came into being as a 
weekly newspaper. 

The presence of Leon Zolotkoff contributed much to the cultural 
and spiritual life of the ghetto. His influence for good was felt 
everywhere and besides the fact that he gave a "mouth piece" to 
orthodox Jewry, by reason of his superior intelligence, his high 
ideals and the power of his pen he became the representative of the 
Russian Jews in Chicago. 

The members of the "Dorshe Safruth Ivrith" (Hebrew Literary 
Society) were proud to have him among them and he more than 
justified this pride. From the very inception of the Hebrew Literary 
Society, its organizers cherished the hope and nursed the ambition 
to publish a monthly periodical in the Hebrew language; they saw 
themselves nearing the goal when Leon Zolotkoff came to Chicago. 
They were not disappointed; in the spring of the following year, 
the much hoped-for publication came into being, the "Keren Or" 
(A Ray of Light) was born, with Leon Zolotkoff as editor and Dr. 
Herman Eliassof as associate editor. The "light" was strong and 
brilliant but not of a lasting quality. Only two issues of the pub- 
lication appeared and then it became extinct, and with its extinction 
it carried to the grave the Hebrew Literary Society. 

During this epoch Hull House was organized on Halsted and 
Polk streets and had already begun to make its influence felt. One 
wonders today whether it was by mere accident or the farsighted- 
ness of that brilliant woman, Miss Jane Addams that the institu- 
tion was established in what later became the very midst of so many 
different settlements and eventually the north-west corner of the 
ghetto. The influence of Hull House on the dwellers of the ghetto 
cannot and must not be underestimated. In a report published for 
the years of 1897-99, Mrs. Hannah G. Solomon, president of the 
Board of the Bureau of Personal Service, has this to say: 

"Hull House, our neighbor, a beacon-light, carries its cheering 
rays throughout the district, and I venture to say that seventy per 

17 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

cent of those who love to cross its threshold to receive the inspiration 
it holds, are of our faith." 

The young immigrants who thirsted for the knowledge which 
has been denied them in the land of the Czars, rushed to the new 
fountain to quench their thirst and drink to their heart's content. 
The lecture halls, the library, the art galleries and all other branches 
for art and literature were crowded by these eager immigrants; 
they came to enrich their souls with everything that Hull House 
had to offer them. 

I recall an incident of those days of long ago that begs to be 
chronicled, so as not to sink into forgetfulness. Hull House was still 
in its infancy and most of its activities were crowded into the one 
building which was formerly the residence of Mr. Hull. The 
"auditorium" for lectures and similar entertainments was a recon- 
structed room which had formerly been the living room. An 
announcement was made that on a given date a piano recital would 
be given at Hull House by Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler who was 
already beginning to blossom forth as a great virtuoso. Some one 
suggested that the auditorium would be inadequate in size for the 
accommodation of the people who would want to hear her. Miss 
Star, a resident worker of Hull House, reassured those present that 
in any event the artist would not be very well-known in that part 
of the city and would probably not attract so much attention as to 
draw an audience larger than was usual for the institution. On the 
evening of the event the police had to be called to keep the great 
throngs in check who tried to fight their way in to hear Madam 
Zeisler play. That lady proved to be in high spirits that evening. 
Probably she reflected the enthusiasm of the audience, at any rate, 
she was amiable and highly accommodating and played many 
enchores. Many years later when I recalled the incident to her 
memory, she explained with the enthusiasm that belongs to real 
and genuine artists, that the memory of that recital would live 
with her to the end of her days and she would never forget the 
appreciation and warmth of that intense, crowded audience. 

18 



EARLY PHILANTHROPIES 

VI 

EARLY PHILANTHROPIES 

The B'nai B'rith was a fraternal order, organized primarily to 
dispense sick-benefits and life insurance. Its aim, purpose and 
ideals were vastly different from those of today. However, the 
mechanical structure of that body has, in these many years, suf- 
fered no change; it is formed on the district plan, each district 
exercising jurisdiction over a certain territory, with autonomous 
powers for self government and constituting a part of the "Con- 
stitutional Grand Lodge." The early history of the Order has 
nothing particular to its credit that would cover it with glory. Its 
declaration of principles contained the old stereotyped phrases of 
"brotherly love, justice and truth" which were little practiced. There 
was apparently nothing about it to justify its existence. An ap- 
plication for membership to the order almost required a birth 
certificate, for unless the applicant was a German Jew or a de- 
scendant of German parents he was not eligible for membership. 
Its outstanding activities, to attract members were the Cleveland 
Orphan Asylum and a kind of "Jewish Embassy" in Washington, 
D. C. 

Because of the close scrutiny into the history of where an appli- 
cant's cradle stood, the Order almost perished for want of new 
blood. In the middle eighties the Order met with strong com- 
petition in the form of "The Sons of Israel," "Sons of Benjamin" 
and the less aristocratic orders, the old and the new "B nth Abra- 
ham." The B'nai B'rith was forced to add something new to its 
activities in a campaign for new members. Accordingly, its Chicago 
lodges organized a night school in the new ghetto where immi- 
grants might acquire the first rudiments of the English language. 
Jacob G. Grossberg and Dr. Knopfnagel were engaged as teachers. 
It would have proved a splendid philanthropy, had it not been a 
duplication of work which had already been begun by the Chicago 
Public School system. 

It was many years later that the order was impregnated with 
high and noble ideals engendered by the more progressive element 

19 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of which Adolf Kraus, Adolph Loeb and Israel Cowen were the 
leaders. As these men gained control of the affairs of the Order, 
they were able to divert it from its aimless course to a position of 
high ideals and genuinely Jewish principles. 

In the early spring of 1888, the United Hebrew Charities an- 
nounced that Leon, Simon and Emanuel Mandel, comprising the 
firm of "Mandel Brothers" and Henry L. Frank had donated a 
large sum of money for the building and maintaining of a "Jewish 
Manual Training School," to be located in the ghetto. This an- 
nouncement was received with great enthusiasm by Chicago Jewry 
and even men like Dr. Hirsch and Julius Rosenthal rejoiced in this 
proposed philanthropy. Manual training in the public schools 
was still unknown in our country, its origin was in Germany. Its 
adoption and incorporation into our own school system was a 
favorite subject of discussion in pedagogical circles. The Jewish 
leaders who advocated this additional feature to our school system 
were motivated by the influx of mass immigration. They saw in 
manual training a partial solution to the grave problem that con- 
fronted them, if not an immediate solution, at least an ultimate one, 
for it would teach trades and handicraft to the children of the 
immigrants. 

In their zeal to accomplish this end these high-minded men and 
women failed to realize their own inconsistency. From the very 
beginning when the tens and hundreds of thousands Russian and 
Polish Jews first knocked at the gates of this country, these same 
well-meaning men and women urged and preached "American- 
ization" as the only panacea for all evils. No exact definition for 
the high sounding word "Americanization," was offered, but its 
equivalent was understood to be "assimilation" and strenuous efforts 
were made by its sponsors towards that direction. Space does not 
permit us to question the soundness and advisability of the remedy, 
however it is universally accepted that the strongest agency and 
most potent factor for Americanization is the public school, where 
youth becomes molded by all the influences directed to that purpose. 
Here the child becomes imbued with the ideas and knowledge 
which inspire love for the country of his adoption. The proposed 

20 



EARLY PHILANTHROPIES 

Jewish Manual Training School would perforce segregate Jewish 
children from their non-Jewish neighbors; hence, the school was 
bound to defeat the very purpose to which its patrons were 
committed. 

However the Training School was built and Professor G. Barn- 
burger, an outstanding scholar and pedagogue was called upon to 
superintend its affairs. Professor Bamburger headed the institution 
for many years and accomplished splendid results. The school 
functioned for three decades and proved itself of such importance 
to the general development of the child's mind that the Board of 
Education adopted manual training as part of the curriculum in all 
the primary schools of the city. And yet, it is still difficult to esti- 
mate the gains made by the Jewish community or the losses it 
sustained by reason of the segregation brought about by the Jewish 
Manual Training School. After it served thirty years, the school 
closed its doors forever. 

The nineties brought more grief to the ill-fated Jewry of the 
world. Dark heavy clouds covered the Jewish horizon and threat- 
ened destruction and annihilation to the wandering tribes of Israel 
throughout Europe. In Russia, six millions of them were living in 
abject misery, their persecution even surpassing that of the middle 
ages. Thousands of merchants were expelled from St. Petersburg 
and 1,400 Jewish artisans were banished from Moscow. Pobiede- 
nostzev, the Procurator General of the Holy Synod of the Russian 
Church, made good his threat to force one-third of the Russian 
Jews to emigrate, to compel one-third to accept baptism and to 
force the remaining third to the verge of starvation. 

In Germany, anti-Semitism was being developed into a "phil- 
osophic" system. In France, the Royalists in their struggle to over- 
throw the Republic and re-establish a Monarchy, formed a "Holy 
Alliance" with the church and anti-Semites; and the three "black 
birds" conspired and framed the "Dreyfus Case." In Austria, the 
"Tissa Estler" blood accusation case, an echo of the dark ages, was 
still raging. The only place left for the foot-sore and harassed 
homeless wanderer who sought to escape these miseries, was the 
United States of America. To avoid overcrowding the larger cities 

21 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

and particularly the city of New York, steps were taken to distribute 
and scatter the newly arrived immigrants all over the country. An 
Industrial Bureau was established and a branch for the mid-western 
states was located in Chicago. 

To cope with the situation effectively, the "Russian Aid Society" 
was organized with Adolph Loeb as President and chairman of the 
collections and finance committee, Josephe Beifield was first vice- 
president and chairman of the distribution committee, Joseph Aus- 
trian was made second vice-president and chairman of the commit- 
tee on transportation, Milton }. Forman, secretary, Oscar G. Forman, 
treasurer, and Julius Weil, financial secretary. The executive com- 
mittee was composed of Berthold Lowenthal, chairman of the em- 
ployment committee, Rabbi A. R. Levy, chairman of the committee 
on agriculture, Israel Cowen, chairman of the committee on aux- 
iliary associations, Rabbi Joseph Stolz, chairman of the committee 
on immediate relief, Leon Schlossman, chairman of the committee 
on supplies, and Julius Rosenthal, Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, August 
Gatzert, E. C. Hamburger, Albert H. Wolf, Harry Greenebaum, 
Mair Newman, Rabbi A. G. Messing, Herman Grossman, Joseph 
Schnadig, J. Lewis, Rabbi A. Norden, Rabbi I. S. Moses and Rabbi 
B. Felsenthal. The building at 82 Wilson street was rented and con- 
verted into a temporary sheltering home and Dr. Herman Elliasof 
was placed in charge. Leading business and professional men were 
called upon to give of their time and assist Dr. Elliasof. The list 
of such volunteers contains such names as Julius Rosenwald, Charles 
E. Bloch, Sidney Loeb, Julius Stern, August Blum, Louis Jackson, 
Sol. Hirsch, Leo A. Loeb, Julian W. Mack, Charles Livingston, 
Levie Eliel, Henry M. Wolf, Morris Beifeld, Charles Schaffner, 
Albert Fischel, Jacob M. Frank, Sol. T. De Lee, Charles S. Block 
and L. M. Friedlander. This galaxy of men did much to bring 
succor, comfort and relief to the emigrees of the nineties. 

VII 

BACK TO THE SOIL 

Dr. Abraham R. Levy, Rabbi of B'nai Abraham congregation, 

22 



BACK TO THE SOIL 

was a man of deep sympathies, with a reflective mind and boundless 
energy. He was born in Hessen Darmstadt, Germany. He com- 
pleted his preparatory education in the Hoch-Schule of his native 
city and attended the University of Goettingen. At the age of 
twenty-six he came to the United States and went straight to 
Georgia where he matriculated in the State University. After re- 
ceiving the degree of Ph.B. he continued to take post-graduate work 
and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

In the early part of 1885, we find him in Athens, Georgia, 
officiating as Rabbi of a small congregation. A few years later he 
accepted a call from the B'nai Abraham Congregation, of Chicago. 
Here, among a large and prosperous Jewish community he found 
greater opportunities to apply his energies as well as to reflect on 
the condition of the Jews, and to seek a cure for their ills. His 
intensive studies led him to the conclusion that the cause of their 
sufferings, the pernicious anti-Semitism, was due to the anomaly 
which forced the Jews to be separated from the soil and become 
urban or "Luft Mensch" that crowded them into cities instead of 
allowing them to follow the farmer's portion, as we find them in 
their earliest history. Dr. Levy concluded that the only solution for 
Israel lay in the reunion of the Jew and the soil, in a highly civilized 
country that guaranteed equal rights and freedom to all citizens 
alike. 

Dr. Levy worked out definite plans for an agricultural move- 
ment and submitted his project to a group of men and women of 
wealth and influence. This plan appealed to them and they im- 
mediately provided the means with which Dr. Levy began opera- 
tions for the great enterprise. 

Imbued with the spirit of the time, a child of the kultur bewe- 
gung in Germany and a Reform Rabbi of the old school, he too 
believed in "Americanization" as a substitute for the word "As- 
similation," an error which led him into a serious blunder that 
caused disaster to the movement of "Jewish Agriculture." As a 
Rabbi and altruist he conceived the idea of combining two ideals 
in one, namely: agriculture and assimilation. Land was purchased 
in various parts of the country with a view to scattering the new 

23 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

farmers as far as possible and settling them in non-Jewish environ- 
ments; as a hopeless minority they would eventually become ab- 
sorbed and assimilated. 

Historian though he was, Dr. Levy took no notice of one of the 
dominating elements in the Jewish psychology, so often manifested 
during their history; place of residence mattered little to them as 
long as they lived among their own. Thus, most of the new pioneers 
who were sent to farms in the far West and South soon abandoned 
the farms and fled to the nearest cities. 

When Dr. Levy realized his error it was a little too late in 
his own life, but he was heroic enough to start anew to eliminate 
the errors of the past. Desirable farming land was acquired in the 
environs of Chicago. Here many Jews were settled constituting 
small Jewish communities and the experiment proved a remarkable 
success. These farms are located in the state of Michigan around 
Benton Harbor and South Haven. Some of these farms operated 
by Jewish farmers are the pride of the state. Rabbi Levy did not 
live long enough to witness the fruit of his labors; before it came 
to bear he closed his book of life that contains many pages of noble 
deeds and self-sacrifice for his fellow Jews. 

Soon after the death of Dr. Levy, the Chicago office of the 
Jewish Agricultural Aid Society liquidated its affairs and surren- 
dered all its interests to the Jewish Agricultural Society of New 
York, which is a part of the "Baron de Hirsch Fund." In 1912, 
Mr. George W. Simon was sent here to establish headquarters for 
the mid-western states and several years later, Mr. Sampson Liph 
was appointed to assist Mr. Simon. Both men are graduates of 
agricultural colleges, are experts in all branches of farming and are 
particularly adapted to function in their respective capacities. But 
they possess even greater virtues than the knowledge of scientific 
and practical farming. Simon and Liph are both accomplished 
social workers and are diligently directing all the interests which 
constitute the life of the farmer. Few people know of the existence 
of this institution and still fewer know of the splendid and inde- 
fatigable work rendered by these two men to the Jewish com- 
munity. With zeal and efficiency they have been rendering a great 

24 



SEERS AND LEADERS 

service to the Jewish farmer not only of a material nature but 
spiritual, intellectual and moral as well. The field in which they 
are engaged covers every phase of social and economic activity. 
During the winter season, when the farmer enjoys the fruits of his 
summer's labor and has more freedom, he is given an opportunity 
to attend lecture courses arranged by Mr. Simon and Mr. 
Liph. These lectures are diverse in character: those delivered by a 
professor of the Michigan State Agricultural College on a subject 
which concerns the immediate needs of the farmer and those on a 
cultural subject by a speaker brought from Chicago. Both types of 
lectures are always well attended by an attentive audience. About 
three hundred Jewish families are now settled on farms in the 
area of Chicago, the majority of whom are prosperous but all are 
happily situated, amidst their congenial surroundings and environ- 
ment. 

VIII 

SEERS AND LEADERS 

Prophets are seldom leaders and leaders are rarely prophets. Dr. 
Emil G. Hirsch was a celebrated Rabbi, a seer and a prophet. His 
vision was clear and penetrated the future; he visualized things 
more than a quarter of a century ago which have already become 
realities. Early in 1904 he was invited to write an introduction to a 
volume entitled: "Russia Before the Bar of The American People," 
edited by Dr. Isidor Singer. Dr. Hirsch entitled his introduction: 
"The Future of the Russian Jew in America." Its reproduction 
here, at least in part, will be of great interest to the reader; it will 
not only prove Dr. Hirsch's great vision but will remove a certain 
false impression from those who insisted that he was not friendly 
to the Russian Jews. It will also absolve me from the possible sus- 
picion that I am partial and prejudicial in favor of the Russian 
Jews. I can use no better cloak to shield myself from such charges, 
than to present the unbiased opinion of so illustrious a spiritual 
leader as he who for almost a half century ministered to the most 
influential congregation in Chicago, if not in the country. Dr. 

25 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Hirsch certainly knew the relative merits of the Jews from every 
corner of the world and he wrote: 

"The study of the future of the Russian Jew in the United States 
is of vital importance, because upon his success or failure depends 
the very fate of Judaism itself in this land. Numerically even now 
the dominant factor in American Jewry, the Russian Jew will at no 
remote day also assert the leadership in all movements expressive of 
his race and religion. It is the Russian Jew who will mold the char- 
acter of the synagogue and its ambition in the Western world. In 
measure as he will rise socially, intellectually, morally and spirit- 
ually will the standing af Judaism and the influence of the Jew be 
accorded distinction and recognition. Should he deteriorate in char- 
acter and capacity, he will drag down with himself every one of his 
faith and blood. These propositions admit no dispute. They require 
no further evidence than the testimony of statistics. The German 
Jew who only a few decades ago fancied that it lay with him to 
determine the development of Judaism in this land, was entitled to 
cherish this conceit by logic of events that had forced to the rear 
the Sephardic coreligionist of his. But today it is he that is in the 
hopeless minority. And yet he refuses to accept the decree which 
will relegate him to the second rank, for he effects in wealth, cul- 
ture, education and liberalism over his Russian brother of later 
arrival. Yet, even in these aspects the Russian Jew is fast crowding 
him . . ." 

Thus wrote Dr. Emil G. Hirsch twenty-eight years ago, thus he 
visualized the future of the Russian Jew in the United States and 
there is no one today who does not see the fulfillment of his visions. 
As he was a prophet he was not a leader. He was too great a 
scholar, too deep a thinker and too much of a poet to be a leader. 
But he possessed one quality which was not at all in keeping with 
all his other qualities: he knew how to select his friends. He chose 
them from various types and from various fields of endeavor, but 
there was always harmony and concerted action among them in 
matters concerning the community. 

For many years Dr. Hirsch presided over a little group com- 
posed of Julius Rosenthal, Joseph S. Hartman, Charles Schaifner 

26 



SEERS AND LEADERS 

and Abraham G. Becker. Small though in number, this group repre- 
sented the culture of two continents, with a background of the old 
Hebraic culture. But as the finest culture without financial support 
will accomplish but little, these men were fortunate that in addi- 
tion to their lofty attainments they possessed a fair share of the 
world's goods and thus were able to carry their high ideals into 
effect. 

They constituted the advance guard of modern American Reform 
Judaism, which at that epoch was not altogether free from strife, 
struggle and an innate superstition. Like most religious conflicts, 
if not for its tragedy it would have been ludicrous. James Rosenthal, 
the oldest son of Julius Rosenthal, recalls many humorous episodes 
dating back to the period when the opposition between the old and 
the new was at its height. Incidents like the following are typical 
of that era: In the latter part of the seventies, the younger mem- 
bers of Sinai Temple, under the leadership of Julius Rosenthal, 
organized a literary society which held its meetings in the vestry 
of the Temple. The society decided to hold a public meeting and to 
invite Dr. Felix Adler, founder and head of the Ethical-Culture 
movement, to lecture on the occasion. When Rabbi Kaufman 
Kohler, Rabbi of Sinai, heard of the contemplated "sacrilege" he 
became furious and took occasion in his Sunday morning sermon 
to denounce and admonish the members of the society in no un- 
certain terms. Julius Rosenthal as leader was the particular objec- 
tive of his violent denunciation and vitrolic tirade; but the latter 
was too wise and too good natured to take it to heart. He listened 
to the sermon and smiled sadly at this evidence of intolerance in a 
modern temple of worship. 

The contemplated public meeting was held with Dr. Felix Adler 
as lecturer, but instead of the vestry-rooms of Sinai it took place in 
the auditorium of Jenkin Lloyd Jones' Center; and Rabbi Kohler's 
attack helped greatly to fill the auditorium. The progress that has 
been made in the ensuing half century is immeasurably vast. The 
most conservative synagogue today would consider itself honored 
to welcome to its pulpit Dr. Felix Adler to lecture on ethics. 

For nearly half a century Julius Rosenthal occupied a prominent 

27 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

position in this city, as a citizen, lawyer, philanthropist, man of 
culture and as a Jew. His deep sympathies for all suffering hu- 
manity, his great love for personal liberty and finally his activity in 
all the causes that led to the ennoblement of the human mind, 
made him an outstanding figure in Chicago Jewry in the early 
eighties, at a time when intelligent understanding was most needed. 
There were not a few who were ready to contribute money, but not 
many understood the real needs of the newly arrived immigrants 
who escaped darkness and persecution to seek light and freedom. 
Julius Rosenthal was himself an immigrant who tasted the bitter 
experience of wandering forth from his native land in quest of the 
unknown. At the age of twenty-six he came to the United States, 
bringing with him two degrees awarded him by two of the leading 
universities in Europe: Heidelberg and Freiberg. But to eke out a 
livelihood Rosenthal was compelled to peddle "Yankee Notions." 
Possibly the memory of his early struggles as an immigrant gave 
him an insight into the sufferings of the newer immigrants. 

A prince among men, standing in intellect like king Saul, "higher 
than any of the people from his shoulder and upward," Rosenthal 
served his fatherland by spreading its culture in the Western hemis- 
phere and simultaneously making a great contribution to the land 
of his adoption; yet, he too suffered the sting of anti-Semitism. 

In 1905, Julius Rosenthal's interesting and meritorious career was 
suddenly cut short. He met his untimely death through an accident; 
as he left his offices to go across the street he was run down by a 
hansom cab and died shortly afterward. In 1919, Northwestern 
University established the "Julius Rosenthal Foundation of General 
Law" to perpetuate his memory. In a recent article, John H. 
Wigmore, Dean of the Northwestern Law School, speaks of Rosen- 
thal as "the most learned man of his time at the Chicago Bar." 
His profound scholarship, his brilliant mind and his ardent sym- 
pathies harmonized perfectly with the kindred spirit of Dr. Emil 
G. Hirsch. 

Joseph S. Hartman was born in Bohemia where he received an 
extensive education in the Hebrew language. At the age of twenty- 
one he came to America and settled in New York city. He adopted 

28 



SEERS AND LEADERS 

teaching of Hebrew as a means of livelihood; but in the middle 
seventies he went westward, to seek greater opportunities. He came 
to Chicago and entered into the business of selling trunks. The 
new venture proved successful and in the years that followed he 
became the largest trunk manufacturer in the country. His new 
interests and great wealth did not detract any from his love of things 
Jewish. A student of modern languages and a constant reader of 
English and German literatures he delighted in nothing more than 
a Midrashic parable or a Talmudic aphorism and he loved the 
company of Talmidel Chachomim. Consequently he was a great 
admirer of Dr. Emil G. Hirsch who in turn admired the merchant- 
dreamer whose zeal for the elimination of want and poverty from 
his fellow-men was limitless. 

Charles Schaffner came to this country from Germany at the age 
of thirteen. Slowly and gradually he climbed the ladder of success 
and the higher he reached financially the greater grew his liber- 
ality and devotion to the relief of suffering. Strangely enough, his 
deepest interest was in the Jews from Eastern Europe. Unstintingly 
he gave his time and money to the various institutions on the West 
side of Chicago and up to a short time ago, played a major part in 
the most important activities in the ghetto of the West side. He 
seemed to understand the psychology of the Russian and Polish 
Jews; hence his association in the little coterie was of immense 
value. He was largely instrumental in creating closer amity and a 
better understanding between the various groups in Jewry. 

The youngest member of the group was Abraham G. Becker. 
Born and raised in the United States he received his elementary 
education in the public schools of this country. In him was em- 
bodied all the characteristics of the present day American Jew. 
He knew no other distinction between Jew and Jew except that 
of character. Place of birth, language and degree of wealth had 
no influence in his sober judgment. He was liberal, broadminded 
and above all, honest. During the World's Columbian Exposition, 
A. G. Becker was a prominent banker with an enviable reputation 
for honesty. When the dark and distressing days of financial de- 
pression came Becker was unable to withstand the pressure caused 

29 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

by the failure of many other banks. The doors of his institution 
closed but every penny left in the bank and at home went to meet 
his obligations. James Becker, his son, told me with confidential 
pride: "Afterward there was less than a dollar between my father 
and starvation." A. G. Becker did not lose courage but started again 
from the lowest rung of the ladder and in the course of time paid to 
his creditors every dollar he owed and with interest. Again Becker 
became a leader in the world of finance, but the acquisition of 
immense wealth meant to him service to humanity. 

Whenever he comes to my mind, I am reminded of an incident 
when I saw him twenty-eight years ago, as he stood in the over- 
crowded Synagogue, "K'nesseth Anshe Israel," after the Kishenief 
Pogrom, his body shaking with emotion and tears rolling down his 
cheeks. The man of affairs, the financier of La Salle street was 
weeping for the cruel fate which had befallen his brethren in 
Russia. 

These four men with Dr. Hirsch rendered untold service to the 
physical and cultural life of Jewish Chicago of that epoch. 

IX 

THE CHILDREN OF THE IMMIGRANTS 

The children of the immigrants were not slow in manifesting 
their appreciation for the bounty the new land offered them — 
particularly in the matter of education which had been denied them 
in the land from which they had come; their progress in that field 
was attended with considerable distinction. Hyman Goldberg who 
came here at the age of ten took most of the Victor Lawson and 
the Yerkes medals and prizes, awarded to pupils in the high 
schools who distinguished themselves in their studies. He was a 
pupil in the West Division High School and displayed skill as a 
mathematician. In those days Goldberg spent much of his time 
and energy trying to invent a "Flying Machine." He was among 
the first students to matriculate in the newly organized "University 
of Chicago" and the first "child of the ghetto" in this city to enter 
an institution of higher learning. Pursuing the academics he aban- 

30 



THE CHILDREN OF THE IMMIGRANTS 

doned the idea of flying in the air and devoted himself to more 
earthly and practical adventures; he invented the "Goldberg Calcu- 
lating Machine." 

Another youth, the son of newly arrived immigrants received an 
appointment to West Point, the national military academy. Michael 
Lurya was the successful candidate. Without much effort he passed 
the physical and mental examination and entered the school, but as 
yet, the time was not ripe for the fulfillment of his ambition. The 
Puritanic aristocracy which supplied officers for the United States 
army did not relish the thought of having Jews amongst them and 
when young Lurya entered the academy he was hazed without 
mercy until at the end of his first year he was compelled to leave 
West Point never to return. However, his appointment paved the 
road for other Jewish lads to enter the Academy where they met 
with greater success. 

Michael Lurya left West Point to escape the mental agony which 
was inflicted on him by the future officers of the army, but physical 
pain or even death held no terrors for him. As soon as the United 
States declared war against Spain, he enlisted in the army as a non- 
commissioned officer and was sent to the Philippine Islands where 
he rendered distinguished service and was soon promoted to the 
rank of Captain. At the conclusion of hostilities, he remained in the 
Islands to help organize a school system for the education of the 
youth in the newly acquired territory. After roaming around the 
world he returned to Chicago several years later. At the entry of the 
United States into the World War, Lurya enlisted again and went 
overseas. At the cessation of the war, he returned to Chicago in a 
major's uniform. 

Herman Reiwitch, another foreign-born lad, entered the field of 
journalism and at that period had already risen to the lofty heights 
of City-Editor of the Chicago Tribune. 

Jacob G. Grossberg wrote English verse of considerable merit 
and rendered a splendid translation of Abraham Mapu's idyllic 
love story: "The Lovers of Zion," from Hebrew into English. He 
was active in the "Lasker Literary Society," many of whose mem- 
bers were brought to this country in their infancy. The society 

31 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

was composed of young men and women of high school age with a 
thirst for literature. The descendants of Russian immigrants to 
whom the names of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and other 
famous literary men were known since childhood, found the 
"Laskers" a place where they could give expression to their romantic 
ideas. After a few years of literary achievement the Lasker Literary 
Society went out of existence and Hattie Gerber, Hyman Goldberg, 
Jacob G. Grossberg and Herman Reiwitch organized the Levinsohn 
Literary Society composed almost exclusively of the children of 
immigrants. These children of yesterday's refugees presented an 
interesting type of Americanism; in manner, speech, action and 
character they were full-fledged Americans, but in thought, spirit, 
love of freedom and high idealism they still reflected Russia, a 
combination unique and delightful. 

In the South-side golden ghetto of this city, a literary society 
was organized under the leadership of Israel Cowen and it bore 
the modest name: "The Knowledge Seekers' 1 with Temple Kehilath 
Anshe Maariv as its headquarters. Professor Charles Zeublin of the 
University Extension department, of the University of Chicago 
and several other eminent men gave courses of lectures on literary 
subjects. 

Israel Cowen was an interesting individual. Since my earliest 
recollection of Chicago he played an important part in the de- 
velopment of philanthropy and culture among its Jews. Born in the 
far South-west, of Reform parents and having imbibed freely of the 
best American and European culture, he was strangely enough, 
steeped in the traditions of Orthodox Judaism and truly pious. His 
sympathies (and they were profound and sincere) were with the 
ghetto Jews; he participated in the establishment of most of the 
Orthodox institutions and labored hard to help maintain them. 

The "Knowledge Seekers," the "Lasker Literary Society," the 
"Levinsohn Literary Society" and many other organizations that 
promoted literature and art, sank into oblivion. Many efforts have 
been made to revive them, as well as to create new ones without 
avail; but these efforts and the existence of those societies were 

32 



THE RISE OF REFORM JUDAISM 

not in vain, for they paved the road to a future cultural life for the 
Jews in Chicago. 

X 

THE RISE OF REFORM JUDAISM 

Rabbi Bernard Felsenthal came to Chicago after the revolution- 
ary unrest of "Forty-eight" and found a position with a banking 
house. He was intensely Jewish and though a German by birth 
and education was a great Talmudic scholar. He knew the vari- 
ous systems of philosophy of the ancients, of the medieval ages and 
of his own beloved native Germany. In his soul were planted the 
germs of Reform Judaism. Here he found several of his compatriots 
whose intellectual life was not entirely absorbed in the pursuit of 
wealth, men and women who sought the higher things of life. They 
formed a little circle, met now and then and discussed among 
themselves the nobility of a Judaism shorn of superstition, creed 
and dogma. During these discussions it was suggested that a 
larger number of friends unite and, if possible, organize a society to 
foster and promote Reform Judaism. 

On the twentieth of June, 1858, at three o'clock in the afternoon, 
a conference was held in the offices of Greenebaum Brothers and 
on that memorable Sunday the "Juedische Reform Verein" came 
into being. This small group of spiritual men and women laid the 
"corner stone" of Sinai Congregation. Dr. Felsenthal had pre- 
viously prepared a "Declaration of Principles" containing twenty- 
seven articles which were submitted to the group for approval. 
Each article was read and voted upon separately and all were 
adopted, with a few minor changes. The greater number of these 
men and women were members of the congregation Kehilath 
Anshe Maariv. In the history of Sinai Congregation I was amused 
to find a record of the following episode: The site which the 
congregation purchased for the first Temple happened to be on the 
West side of the street; strenuous objections were raised by many 
members, because it would have no "East Wall" (Mizrach). The 
controversy was carried to Dr. Samuel Adler, Rabbi of Temple 

33 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Emanuel, New York, who rendered the decision that it was proper 
in the absence of an east wall to use any other wall for the Mizrach ; 
and so peace was restored. Dr. Felsenthal was selected Rabbi to 
officiate in the new Reform Congregation. 

Of a more serious character, in the same history of Sinai, is the 
appeal that was issued by the distinguished Rabbi, to "enlightened 
Jews" to join the "Reform Verein.' , It was headed "Kol Koreh 
B'midbar" (A voice calling in the desert). Written in the Hebraic 
spirit it was as powerful as a prophetic chapter. Dr. Felsenthal 
was Rabbi of Sinai for three years and then resigned; and here is 
another amusing episode in the early history of Sinai. As already 
stated, Dr. Felsenthal served the congregation three years and each 
year he was elected for a term of one year, at a salary of one 
hundred dollars a month. At the end of the third year he was 
again elected for another year with an increase in salary of twenty- 
five dollars a month; when a committee of the congregation called 
on the Rabbi to inform him of the Board's action, he refused to sign 
the contract because of the short term; he demanded a term of not 
less than three years. 

In 1864, soon after Zion Congregation was organized on the West 
side, it invited Rabbi Felsenthal to occupy its pulpit; he remained in 
that pulpit twenty-three years until 1887 when he resigned to be- 
come Rabbi Emeritus. His retirement was simultaneous with my 
arrival in Chicago, but it was my privilege to hear him often when 
he lectured for the Hebrew Literary Society, of which he was an 
enthusiastic member and also at Zionist gatherings. He was the first 
Reform Rabbi in Chicago to cast his lot with the Zionists. Thus I 
spent many hours in his company listening to his brilliant conver- 
sation. Dr. Felsenthal was remarkable in more than one way, his 
sweet kindliness and lovable disposition always reminded me of 
Rabbi Hillel H'nassi. He was a savant, a philosopher and an earnest 
thinker. I permit myself the privilege of quoting another Rabbi, 
who because of his own scholarship and erudition can appreciate 
the wisdom and learning of Dr. Felsenthal. In a review: "Seventy 
Years of Reform Judaism in Chicago" Dr. Geraon B. Levi, Rabbi 
of Isaiah-Israel Temple, wrote the following: "I read the pages 

34 



NEW TYPE OF RABBIS 

of some of FelsenthaPs writings. I am struck with the similarity 
between the type of mind that Felsenthal had and that which 
Spinoza had. In both of them there were glory and a spark of 
enthusiasm that may easily be kindled into eloquence and flames 
of poetry. Yet, both of them, Felsenthal and before him, in a large 
sense, Spinoza, had schooled themselves to think calmly and de- 
liberately. You will find, as you read Felsenthal's writings this one 
startling thing: whether the numbers of paragraphs are there or 
not, the numbers are there. Felsenthal began his thought and the 
thought marched on deliberately, calmly, weightily, numberedly 
and conclusively to the end." 

We respect great learning in a Rabbi, and when his scholar- 
ship is combined with such virtues as sweetness and gentleness of 
spirit as they were in Dr. Felsenthal, he must be indeed a true 
disciple of the great school of Rabbi Hillel. 

XI 

NEW TYPE OF RABBIS 

When Dr. Felsenthal became Rabbi Emeritus, most of the mem- 
bers of the Reform congregations were already Americanized and 
endowed with wealth and influence. The Hebrew Union College 
in Cincinnati had, at that period, been functioning for five years. 
Its purpose was to provide the Jewish communities of America with 
Rabbis trained in American Colleges; and so the Zion congrega- 
tion turned to the Hebrew Union College and found Rabbi Joseph 
Stolz. 

Rabbi Joseph Stolz, the son of David and Regina (Straus) Stolz, 
was born in Syracuse, New York, November 3, 1861. He received 
his preliminary education and a fair knowledge of Hebrew, in his 
native town. In 1878 he entered the Hebrew Union College and at 
the same time matriculated in the University of Cincinnati. He 
received his degree from the University in 1883 and a year later 
graduated with the second graduating class from the Hebrew Union 
College and was duly ordained for the Rabbinate. For three years 
he filled the pulpit in Little Rock, Arkansas, and from there he was 

35 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

called to Zion. Dr. Stolz (he received the Doctor's degree from his 
own Alma Mater several years later) brought with him to his new 
congregation, gifts, heretofore unknown to its worshippers: youth, 
a dynamic personality, a flare for oratory and eloquence, a well- 
modulated voice, a diction that held no trace of foreign accent, and 
what was more, an eagerness to lift that melodious voice and loudly 
decry the inhumanity of man. 

Joseph Stolz was one of the first Rabbis to be born in the United 
States. He imbibed the American spirit with die milk of his mother 
and was free from the prejudices that infested the great majority 
of the Rabbinate of that epoch, most of whom came hither from 
Hungary, Bohemia and Bavaria. To him Reform Judaism was far 
more than a mere form of worship or a theory of speculative 
philosophy; it was a deeply rooted religious conviction, a concept 
of the eternal order of things and an ideal that filled his soul. In the 
more than forty years which he gave to the cause of Judaism as a 
spiritual leader, he strove continually to bridge the gulf that divides 
Reform and Orthodox Judaism. He endeavored to establish the 
possibility of a synthesis between the German and the Russian Jew* 

It is still too early to measure his success and venture an opinion. 
However, the mind with vision can see the approach of a new 
American Judaism which is now in the making. What kind of 
Judaism it is apt to be can not be foretold. It is safe to assert that it 
will be neither Orthodox, Reform nor Conservative. Rabbi Stolz 
may however console himself that some of his dreams have been 
realized: his congregation as well as all the other Reform congre- 
gations, is already largely composed of the first and second genera- 
tion of Russian and Polish Jews. A true inventory will probably 
disclose that no profits resulted and there is little cause to rejoice; 
the question comes to mind: "What became of the Temple mem- 
bers of the late eighties and early nineties and where are their 
descendants who received the benefit of confirmation?" Will the 
account balance ? 

Among the many negative principles in ultra Reform Judaism 
was the elimination of the Hebrew language from the prayerbook, 
the services and the Sunday School. With the vision of a Talmid 

36 



NEW TYPE OF RABBIS 

Chochem, Dr. Stolz saw the grave danger in such a policy. As a 
student of history he knew the part Hebrew played in Jewish life 
throughout the ages; he therefore reasoned that the banishment of 
the "Holy Language" would tend to undermine Judaism. Together 
with Dr. A. R. Levy and several other well-meaning men and 
women, Dr. Stolz organized a school to teach Hebrew to the 
daughters of Israel. Quarters for such a school were chosen on 
Johnson street, opposite the Garfield school and near the B'nai 
Abraham Temple. The venture proved unsuccessful; Orthodox 
Jewry during that period, was in a measure similar to the Amster- 
dam Jewry that persecuted Uriel Acosto and Baruch Spinoza and 
which in the light of history, cannot be censured for "narrowness." 
Was it not because of their steadfastness and loyalty to the "One 
God" that they endured the sufferings of the Inquisition and later 
wandered forth from Spain and Portugal to Amsterdam, Holland? 
And was it not for their religion that Russian and Polish Jews left 
their native lands to come hither? Thus they looked upon Reform 
Judaism with the same distrust as they looked upon the Christian 
Missionaries who were spreading a net to capture the souls of their 
young ones; and they did not permit their children to attend the 
new Hebrew School. After the School closed its doors Dr. A. P. 
Kadison organized a Hebrew school for girls and its success was 
most phenomenal. Lack of finances compelled him to close the 
school, but only after Dr. Kadison had exhausted his own private 
resources. 

Teaching Hebrew to girls was an innovation in itself and to the 
truly Orthodox it smacked of Reform. According to Talmudic law, 
only three Mitzvath were conferred upon women and she was 
exempt from all else; to instruct women in religious tenets was 
regarded a sin. 

The South and West side ghettos were inhabited mainly by 
Polish and Lithuanian Jews. In the course of the development of 
the Jewish community, a new ghetto, in the North-west portion 
of the city began to flourish, a settlement largely composed of Jews 
who came from the heart of Russia. Here we find a group, known 
as the "Intelligentsia," who tried to force Russian culture on their 

37 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

new environment, insisting on the continued use of the Russian 
language and Russian manners, in their homes. 

Some of the outstanding families of that group were the Green- 
bergs, Kruchefskys, Matjestkys, Towers, Pritzkers, Mesurows, 
Flichts, Leviashes, Salmonsons, Borovicks, Rabinowitches, Schoen- 
brods and Bernard }. Brown. Their effort to force a foreign cul- 
ture into an American environment was futile; many of the above- 
named who were so persistent in their efforts have since changed 
their Russian-sounding names to more euphonious American names 
and many of their sons and daughters who entered the higher edu- 
cational institutions have tried hard to conceal their Russian origin 
entirely and pass for real Americans. 

Several synagogues were established in the new ghetto, among 
them one semi-Reform Temple whose pulpit was occupied by 
Rabbi Newman. On the near North side Meyer Margolis, father of 
the late Abraham Margolis, for a number of years president of the 
"Old People's Home," organized a synagogue of Orthodox pattern. 
Thus the spiritual centers of the three ghettos had an early and 
substantial foundation. 

It is generally accepted that people of the same nationality group 
together and form a settlement of their own bound by the use of 
a common language which is always a potent factor in the inter- 
change of ideas and social intercourse. This was not the case of 
the German Jew and German non-Jew. Although united by a 
common bond of language, culture and education, yet in the tide 
of German immigration, the two parted company — the German 
Jew to build his ghetto on the South side, while the German non- 
Jews built a settlement on the far North side which became known 
as Lake View. 

XII 

NOTEWORTHY CELEBRATION 

As the year 1892 was slowly approaching, three different peoples 
reflected on the historic significance of that year. Four hundred 
years earlier, in the year 1492, Christopher Columbus had discovered 

38 



NOTEWORTHY CELEBRATION 

a new continent. The whole civilized world was eager to join in 
celebration of the anniversary of this event, but to three peoples this 
occasion was of particular import and each for a different reason: 
the people inhabiting this vast continent rejoiced because they had 
fallen heir to this great heritage of Columbus and this wonderful 
land had become their possession; Spain was proud because the 
achievement of Columbus was made possible through its benevolent 
King and Queen, Ferdinand and Isabella, who had furnished 
Columbus with money and ships for his voyage. Last, but not least, 
came the world's Jewry and particularly the Jews of America who 
felt that they more than all the others had cause to celebrate the 
Fourth Centennial of the discovery of America. 

The whole history of the voyage of Columbus and the discovery 
of America is closely interwoven with the destiny of the Jews. On 
the thirtieth of March, 1492, an edict was signed by Ferdinand and 
Isabella, decreeing that all the Jews within their domain must be 
banished; the following month the royal pair signed a contract au- 
thorizing Christopher Columbus to fit out a fleet and sail out to- 
wards the West. On Sunday, August the second, more than three 
hundred thousand Jews were made to take staff in hand and wander 
forth to find shelter in a cold and friendless world, leaving behind 
them the land of sunny Spain where they had lived for centuries 
and helped make great. A few days after the exodus, Columbus 
set sail on his voyage. Six months later he sent a report to the 
king and queen, informing them of his great discovery. An interest- 
ing phase of this story is that many individual Jews played no small 
part in the voyage of Columbus, chief among whom were Vecinho, 
a famous physician of Portugal who furnished Columbus with a 
copy of Zacuto's astronomical tables which he took with him on his 
voyage, Diego de Deza one of his sponsors and Louis de Santangel 
and Isaac Abarbanel who were most helpful to him in convincing 
the queen of the great possibilities in his project and in supplying 
him with funds from their own private treasuries. "There was 
still another source of revenue which was drawn upon to equip 
Columbus," wrote Anita Libman Lebeson in her enlightening vol- 
ume "The Pioneers In America." "Ferdinand had been confiscating 

39 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Jewish property in Aragon and expelling Israelites from the king- 
dom. Not Jewels but Jews were the real financial basis of the first 
expedition of Columbus." 

Thus the Jews played an important part in the discovery of 
America, as if they had a premonition of what this land would 
mean in the future to members of their race. 

The Congress of the United States deliberated the question of 
how best to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary and it 
finally decided on a World's Exposition. Various cities made bids 
for the privilege of "running the show." On being told the amount 
of money it would require to stage the entertainment, Chicago, with 
its characteristic spirit of determination answered in its well-known 
phrase "I will!" After presenting its qualifications, Chicago was 
chosen as hostess to the world and to all who would attend the 
exposition. 

The contemplated exposition filled every Chicagoan with pride 
and a great joy penetrated the ghetto; the poorest among its dwellers 
felt as if Uncle Sam formed a partnership with him to take part in 
the great joy of his celebration. 

As originally planned the Exposition was to open on May ist, 
1892, and a board of directors was duly organized. Two distin- 
guished members of the Jewish community were appointed as 
directors: A. M. Rothschild and Adolph Nathan. Relatively speak- 
ing, the number of Chicago Jews was still small and even of those 
very few were naturalized citizens, therefore the Jews exerted no 
political influence and the appointment of the two Jews was in 
recognition of their own personal merits. 

Chicago became the center of attraction of the world; many 
people from many lands entered its gates, men of various profes- 
sions and of divers enterprises; and among them were not a few 
Jews. The project outlined by the board contained plans for a 
World's Parliament of Religion, for which a special committee was 
named under the direct supervision of the Board of Trustees. Mrs. 
Charles Henrotin, a society woman of high attainment and great 
distinction was made the chairman of the Parliament and she put 
forth every effort to make the Congress of Religion a great success. 

40 



BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 

She procured the services of Mrs. Hannah G. Solomon and Mrs. 
I. S. Moses, wife of Rabbi Moses, and commissioned the two repre- 
sentative Jewish women to organize a Jewish women's section for 
the Parliament of Religion. She designated Mrs. Solomon as chair- 
man and Mrs. Moses as vice-chairman of that section. Mrs. Hen- 
rotin manifested a rare insight when she selected Mrs. Solomon to 
head the Jewish section. She was young, brilliant, energetic, familiar 
with organization work and underlying all these qualities there was 
a deeprooted religiosity which gave her a keen understanding of 
her people. Mrs. Solomon lost no time in choosing her committee 
and with Mrs. Moses the executive board comprised Mesdames 
Louis Frank, Emanuel Mandel, Charles Stettauer, Charles Hess, 
Louis J. Wolf, Martin Emerich and Max Leopold, the wives of men 
whose names were already known in the rapidly growing com- 
munity; and also the Misses Sadie American, Flora Nussbaum, Julia 
Felsenthal, Esther Witkowsky, Etta Rosenbaum and Bertha Leob, 
daughters of equally prominent fathers. Mrs. Henry Adler was 
selected secretary of the Jewish women's section. 

XIII 

BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 

In this modern age, when superlatives have become common 
ordinary things, when all is great, tremendous and colossal, the 
organization of the section of Jewish women may seem of little sig- 
nificance. The thoughtful, however, will trace to this small begin- 
ning the universal revolution which emancipated almost half of the 
human family. For just as the great swollen rivers find their origin 

Somewhere in the rocks of mountains 
Dripping slow from nature's fountains 
Comes a streamlet and it sprays 
'Neath the sun's forescent rays, 
Beginning narrow, spreading wide, 
Wider swifter grows the tide. 

So it is with the progress of human events. These small groups 

41 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

which were organized by Mrs. Charles Henrotin and Hannah G. 
Solomon were the forerunners of the great revolution which thirty- 
five years later gave political rights, equality and freedom to the 
women of the civilized world. 

The women's section of the Columbian Exposition was organized 
to bring about the Parliament of Religion; to bring together under 
one roof representatives of all religious denominations that they 
might discuss their respective creeds, that a better understanding 
result between man and man. The ''Congress of Religion" was 
a phenomenal success; delegates came from every part of the 
world, representing all races, religions, creeds, denominations and 
colors. They all mingled together, interchanged ideas and dis- 
cussed various subjects of interest to humanity. To those of an 
optimistic nature, it seemed that the millennium had come, that 
religious prejudices vanished and intolerance had ceased to exist. 
Priest and Rabbi, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Hindu, Mohammedan 
and Confucian clasped each other's hand, all were brothers of one 
great family. This was accomplished through the efforts of Mrs. 
Henrotin and Mrs. Solomon, with the able assistance of their 
committees. But they rendered a still greater service for "The 
World's Congress of Religion" gave an impetus to womankind to 
strive for independence and made her realize that she was capable 
of doing great things, that she could be the equal of man in social, 
political and economic matters. To fully appreciate the magnitude 
of what these two women accomplished, a brief review of the 
historic status of woman in general and the Jewish woman in 
particular, is required. 

From the earliest dawn of civilization we find man the master, 
a position acquired because of superior strength. It was the man 
who provided the food for the family, warred against his enemies — 
man or beast — and sought to protect the family against the ele- 
ments of nature. Woman was regarded merely as his personal 
property, the same as his other chattels, to be used for his comfort 
or amusement and without any rights of her own. The entire struc- 
ture of civil and ecclesiastical law was based upon that theory. The 
progress made by the human family throughout the ages, the con- 

42 



BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 

stitutions, the Magna Cartas and all the other legislations that were 
enacted to free nations and peoples from bondage and to abolishing 
castes and classes gave no consideration to the legal status of woman. 
Under the feudal laws no woman could own property in her own 
right; and this law prevailed in most of the states in this country 
until a short time ago. 

While the Jewish woman enjoyed greater freedom in affairs of 
the home, her general status was even more circumscribed than that 
of her non-Jewish sister. She was given no part in the religious 
affairs of her people although the education of her children was 
under her exclusive supervision. She had no voice in the social 
or political life which belonged to the domain of man. He was 
master of the household, legislator and administrator. It was only 
his love for his family, his strong affection for her and their children 
that made her condition tolerable. 

In the new world, the Jewish woman occupied the position of 
most women in this highly socialized Western hemisphere. "Ladies 
first" was the slogan and she accepted it with all the other con- 
ventional lies that went with it. She found herself suddenly with a 
vast amount of leisure which she was unable to fill and a curiosity 
about the world around her which she was unable to satisfy. The 
non-Jewish woman found an outlet for her leisure time in church 
activities. She organized with her sisters to maintain various reli- 
gious and charitable institutions. The Jewish woman had none of 
this; and although she had been socially elevated to become the 
peer of her husband, her condition remained unchanged. Religion 
was out of her sphere and charity, its offshoot, had very early in 
the Jewish life of America become an "economic science" so that 
the Jewish woman was deprived of even the graceful gesture of 
charity. 

It is true, that here and there in the Jewish communities of the 
larger cities, Jewish women had organized for some obscure pur- 
pose or other, but they rarely had a definite aim. Mrs. Hannah G. 
Solomon was the first woman in America to weld the Jewish 
women into a national body, with definite purposes that stirred 
them on to a new consciousness and new activities. For the first 

43 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

time in history, women as a class, awakened to the powers that 
had lain dormant within her, powers for the betterment of hu- 
manity, powers with which she hoped to realize her ideals and 
her dreams for the edification of womanhood. 

The Board of Trustees in charge of the World's Columbian Ex- 
position was not slow in discovering that the time within which 
it had to complete all necessary preparations was insufficient; it 
decided therefore to postpone the opening for one year. This gave 
Mrs. Solomon another year's time in which to work out all the 
details of her plan and to perfect the organization of the Jewish 
Women Section and she took advantage of every minute. Years 
later she wrote: "Its chief result was that it brought together from 
all parts of the country, east, west, north and south women interest- 
ed in their religion, women following similar lines of thought 
and was instrumental in cementing friendships between them. 
The outcome is a National Organization." In an address delivered 
by Mrs. Henrotin before a group of women, she said: "That this 
meeting may result in a National Organization is my earnest 
desire." 

At the fourth triennial convention of the "Council of Jewish 
Women" held in Chicago in 1905, Mrs. Solomon said, her voice 
vibrating with emotion: "What it means to me when thirteen 
years ago I labored for months trying to discover material for a 
nucleus out of which a Congress of Jewish Women might develop 
and determining that out of it must result some permanent or- 
ganization, that no future worker should have the same difficult 
task. As a member of the Women's Board I worked during the 
entire winter of 1892; and seeing the possibility of a meeting of 
Jewish women organized, the committee had submitted my plans. 
A permanent organization was the last and most important of 
my plans." In an address before the "Chicago Women's Club" 
in 1893, Mrs. Henrotin said of the work accomplished by Mrs. 
Solomon: "As the permanent effect of so much endeavor, several 
associations, councils and innumerable clubs were organized, of 
which without doubt the National Council of Jewish Women was 
the most successful. It particularly assumed an international char- 

44 



BLOODLESS REVOLUTION 

acter and is now, thanks to the executive ability of the chairman, 
afterwards its president, (Mrs. Solomon) a power for good not 
alone in America but all over the world. Mrs. Solomon labored 
from the inception of the women's branch to make her Congress 
a permanent organization." 

Out of the Jewish Women's Section of the World's Parliament 
of Religion was born the Council of Jewish Women. From this 
time on, a new epoch began for the Jewish woman in America. 
She found an aim and a purpose in life outside of her home. A 
new world was opened to her. She broke all the fetters that had 
kept her enslaved throughout the ages; she now, at last felt her- 
self free — free to participate in all human endeavors; free to take 
part in religion, charity and all the problems that beset the human 
race. Much of the Jewish idealism that survived in the new world 
we owe to the woman and she in turn received her inspiration from 
the National Council of Jewish Women, founded through the 
efforts of the indefatigable Mrs. Hannah G. Solomon. 

The Council is now the largest organization of Jewish Women 
in America and is most effective as a moral force in Judaism. True, 
ofttimes sincerity of purpose has not kept it from committing 
errors; it has gone at times beyond the purpose for which it was 
organized, but "to err is human" and no human institution is 
free from error and misjudgments. In the case of the Council, its 
virtues are so great and numerous as to overshadow all the errors 
and consign them to obscurity. 

The decade which closed the nineteenth century is signally 
marked by a decline of religion. It was an era of scientific research; 
the heavy batteries of Spencer, Darwin and Huxley, of Haeckel, 
Bergson and Metchnikoff almost demolished the last vestiges of 
religion and substituted agnosticism instead. . . . Many Jews who 
came from central and western Europe joined the Ethical-Culture 
movement and even the Christian Science Church. A large number 
who came from Eastern Europe became indifferent to the teachings 
of their fathers; they took no interest in religious or Jewish prob- 
lems and drifted with the tide. The young men and women who 
styled themselves the "Intelligentsia" and those working in the 

45 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

sweat-shops or factories, embraced the philosophies of Karl Marx 
or Peter Krapotkin, those of the latter group taking upon them- 
selves the "sacred mission" of combating religion as vehemently as 
they fought their economic "enemy" Capital. It was this group 
that dedicated itself to the high ideal of arranging public dances 
and balls on the sacred day — or on the eve of Yom Kippur. The 
influence of the National Council of the Jewish Women was instru- 
mental in removing fanaticism and narrow-mindedness, regardless 
of whether it be prompted by religion or by radicalism. It may 
be of interest to note that when the Jewish Women's Section of 
the Parliament of Religion decided to fashion a suitable souvenir 
for distribution among the men and women who were instrumental 
in making it a tremendous success, after much discussion as to 
what the souvenir should be arrived at a decision to publish a 
volume of the melodies and chants used in the synagogue. The 
services of expert cantors were engaged and the volume was ac- 
cordingly published, bearing the significant title "Songs of Zion." 
The National Council of Jewish Women has flourished and today 
includes the most brilliant women in the country. 

XIV 

TRIUMPH OF JUSTICE 

The World's Columbian Exposition came and went; it is now 
a matter of history. It is maintained by some historians that the 
date of the birth of Chicago should be set as the date of the open- 
ing of the World's Fair. While I do not underestimate the tre- 
mendous influence of that event on the development of this city, 
nevertheless, it is my firm conviction that Chicago would not have 
been one whit less than what it is today if it had had no Fair. 
Nature destined Chicago to be what it is and its possibilities of 
becoming the greatest city in the world it entertains by reason of 
its geographical position. 

The Jewish community of this city gained much from the 
World's Fair. Men of intellect, ability and prominence came to 
the city and many of them remained to become a part helping 

46 



TRIUMPH OF JUSTICE 

materially in its growth. Professor Isaac Hurwich, an eminent 
lawyer from Kief, Russia, came as a visitor to the Fair and while 
in the city was invited by the University of Chicago to become a 
member of its faculty. During the years he remained here he 
was energetically active in the promulgation of culture among his 
people. He proved a valuable acquisition and rendered substantial 
service in the enlightenment of the Jewish masses. A profound 
thinker, he possessed the faculty of popularizing and simplifying 
the most intricate subject and making it clear and understandable 
to all. He was a fluent lecturer in the Yiddish, English and Russian 
languages and was ready to serve whenever called upon. Years 
later he left for New York where he engaged in Yiddish journalism 
and became known as the most popular and most prolific writer 
of his time. Many men and women of great ability made their 
homes here, some, only temporarily, others, permanently. The 
World's Columbian Exposition attracted some undesirable char- 
acters, but we prefer not to speak of them. 

There is one more episode which begs to be recorded. When 
Jackson Park was finally metamorphosed into a beautiful fairy- 
land and the electric button was touched which set the Fair in 
motion, revealing to the world what civilization had accomplished, 
a group of narrow-minded clergymen petitioned the Board of 
Trustees that it be closed on Sundays so that the Sabbath day 
be not desecrated. The Trustees were divided in their opinions, 
but were about ready to yield to the demand, were it not for the 
timely intervention of broadminded citizens who recognized on 
the one hand the wrong such action would perpetrate against the 
laboring people who had no other day to visit the Fair except 
Sunday; and on the other hand the position such action would 
place Chicago in in the eyes of the world. Such provincialism would 
cause Chicago to become a subject for ridicule. A citizens' com- 
mittee was formed and legal proceedings were instituted, a petition 
was filed in the Superior Court of Cook county, asking for an 
injunction to restrain the Trustees from closing the Fair on Sunday. 
The matter was assigned to Judge Philip Stein. The best legal 
talent available was engaged on both sides. After many lengthy 

47 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

arguments the Jewish Judge issued the injunction and the Fair was 
kept open every day in the week. 

XV 

A RESENTED PHILANTHROPY 

One evening in the spring of 1892, a conference was called at 
Hull House, to consider the establishment of a social settlement 
in the West side Ghetto. Those who attended the conference were 
Julian W. Mack, Lessing Rosenthal, Moritz Rosenthal, Jesse Lowen- 
haupt and Jacob Abt, who, it became evident very early in the eve- 
ning, were representing the sponsors of the new philanthropy. Miss 
Kate Levy, Jacob G. Grossberg and myself were called in behalf 
of the recipients of this beneficence. Miss Jane Addams was present 
but took no part in the proceedings at first. Without delay the 
chairman stated the purpose of the gathering and mapped out the 
plan for the settlement. The "culture" which was to emanate from 
the settlement and permeate all corners of the Ghetto was conspicu- 
ously absent from the heated discussion of the "enlightened" bene- 
factors. The charged atmosphere finally provoked Miss Addams, 
to remark "It seems to me there is more ill-feeling between the 
Reform and Orthodox Jews, than there is between Jews and 
Gentiles." The plans for a settlement were advanced so clumsily, 
and the sting of the contempt in which the recipients of the phil- 
anthropy were held by some of the gentlemen present made itself 
keenly felt; the intensity was growing more noticeable and bitter- 
ness was evident on both sides. Only the calmness of Julian W. 
Mack, Lessing Rosenthal and Miss Addams prevented a distinct 
breach of amity. However, peace was soon restored; the conference 
was closed with the agreement that a settlement be established 
but with the understanding that men and women of the neighbor- 
hood itself be asked to participate in its organization. A committee 
was appointed to find proper quarters for its housing. An old but 
commodious residence was found on Maxwell street, east of Jeffer- 
son street. The house was considered acceptable by the committee 
and was rented. 

48 



A RESENTED PHILANTHROPY 

Although the moving spirits of the "Maxwell Street Settlement" 
were such men as Julian W. Mack and Lessing Rosenthal, whose 
intentions were well-meant, the residents of the Settlement were 
not the proper men to accomplish the ends for which it was 
established. They were men of wealth and education, who left 
their luxurious homes to live in the Ghetto Settlement, a noble 
enough sacrifice but a vain one. These men could not understand 
the psychology of the people among whom they came to spread 
culture and refinement. Every person who crossed the threshold 
of the settlement, whether seeking information in regard to naturali- 
zation or an immigrant eager to delve into the intricacies of the 
English language, was looked upon as a pauper begging for alms, 
and was treated as such. Then too, the Settlement became a popular 
center for debutantes who, eager to dabble in social work, descended 
into the Ghetto under the leadership of a typical social worker 
of that period, to help the "poor Russian immigrants." Under these 
conditions, it took but a short time for the Settlement to become 
extremely unpopular. The people of the neighborhood soon dis- 
covered that the new institution was patronizing them to an ex- 
tent which bordered on insult. 

Next door to the Settlement was the drug store owned by Leo 
Porges, the first Russian druggist in the neighborhood. His place 
became a rendezvous for all the intellectuals of the vicinity. Doc- 
tors, lawyers, dentists and all others who were designated as "Intel- 
lectuals," would gather regularly every evening in back of the pre- 
scription counter and there create a thousand problems and settle 
them. It was here that the inspiration was born to organize a "Self 
Educational Club." The very name of the club was a challenge to 
the Maxwell Street Settlement. The name indicated that its mem- 
bers were to educate themselves and not to receive their precious 
education as charity from the hands of a few highbrows. The most 
active leaders of the new venture were Dr. Michael L. Aren, Dr. 
Kate Levy, Peter Wiernick, Meyer Lesser, Professor Isaac Hurwitz, 
Professor Abraham Feldman, Dr. Leo Fels, Harry Fels and Dr. 
Emma Blount. Quarters were procured on Halsted street, south 
of Fourteenth street. Classes were immediately organized in ele- 

49 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

mentary and advanced English. Among the teachers were Harry 
A. Lipsky, Hyman Goldberg, Rose Kanter, who has since become 
Mrs. Hyman Goldberg, and Pauline Pines, now the wife of Doctor 
M. L. Aren. Lectures on a variety of subjects were arranged for 
several nights a week. Among the lecturers were such distinguished 
men of learning as Professor Harper, president of the University 
of Chicago; Professor Moulton, Professor James Breasted, Professor 
MacClintock, Professor Andrews, Professor Fredrick Starr, M. M. 
Mangazzarian, Graham Taylor, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Professor Isaac 
Hurwiz, and Clarence S. Darrow. Every lecture was attended by 
a musical. George Shapiro, Isaac Levin and Joe Copeland were the 
musicians. 

The Self Educational Club soon attracted wide attention and 
was always crowded with men and women anxious to avail them- 
selves of its benefits, while the Maxwell Street Settlement, with all 
the wealth behind it and the opportunities and possibilities at its 
command drew an attendance which decreased steadily. It was not 
until many years later, when Ernestine Heller was put in charge 
of the Settlement, that it became an active and busy institution, 
ministering to the neighborhood's needs and functioning in a way 
intended by the men who founded it. 

Memory exercises a remarkable power over us. It resurrects the 
past and re-creates its scenes so clearly that we seem to live them 
over again. There comes again to my mind the image of a young, 
charming, golden-haired, little girl seated at the piano. Unconscious 
of those around her, she is deep in the spell of her own music. 
At almost every meeting of the Self Educational Club this young 
girl is asked to play and she always responds, cheerfully and with 
no trace of self-consciousness. The audience never tires of listening 
to her music. She formed a class for piano instruction in the Self 
Educational Club and gave her services gratuitously. Her name is 
Esther Harris. Today, Esther Harris heads one of the largest music 
schools in Chicago. She is the president of the Chicago College 
of Music which she herself organized and built up to a position 
as one of the great musical schools of the country. Her popularity 
gained for her a phenomenal success from the artistic as well as 

50 



FRATERNALISM 

from the material point of view. Many nationally famed piano- 
virtuosi owe their greatness to the instruction they received from 
Esther Harris. 

Doctor Michael L. Aren, who in the past thirty-five years has 
been active in social, civic, philanthropic and educational move- 
ments in this city, was the guiding spirit of the Self Educational 
Club. All of its currents circulated around him. The years '93 
and '94 were years of bread-lines and soup-kitchens and were too 
full of human misery to allow many men or women to devote 
themselves to any cause. Dr. Aren, however, stood at the helm of 
the Self Educational Club and guided it wisely. He surrendered 
only when he felt sure that the Club had outlived its usefulness, 
when the Maxwell Street Settlement was turned over into the 
hands of those who knew the wants of the neighborhood and sup- 
plied them kindly, discreetly and tactfully. 

XVI 

FRATERNALISM 

Fraternal orders, with their insignia, passwords, symbols, initi- 
ations and ceremonies are American products. They are superficial 
imitations of esoteric societies of knighthood — societies which flour- 
ished during the crusades. Although the Jews had no reason to 
imitate even the outward forms of an order in whose name the 
blood of countless numbers of their brethren had been shed, yet 
it is interesting to note that beginning with the early nineties 
Fraternal Orders played a prominent part in the lives of the im- 
migrant Jews. 

There were two main attractions offered by fraternal organiza- 
tions. A small amount of life insurance was provided by the lodge 
for the protection of the family in case of death of a member. At 
the same time there was a social outlet which took the place of 
the life he had enjoyed in the old world but which he had found 
lacking in his new home. 

The confinement to the Ghetto during the middle ages had had 
its effects on the life of the Jew. The persecution and isolation 

51 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

which he endured degraded him, but served to ennoble his spirit. 
His cramped life within the Ghetto walls humanized him to the 
extent of making him utterly dependent on his fellow sufferers. 
His social ties were his only source of amusement and they became 
as important to him as air and light. In the European cities and 
towns where Jews lived in numbers, large or small, Saturdays and 
all religious holidays were set aside for visiting with friends and 
relatives. The Beth H'midrash served as a school, college, house of 
worship, meeting hall and club room where members of the com- 
munity congregated to exchange ideas and for social intercourse. 

When a female child was born to a Jewish family, the event 
was celebrated as a Mazzol Tov; if the infant was a boy, the 
occasion was a Brith; in either case it was regarded as a Mizwah 
of great importance to join the happy parents and celebrate with 
them the joyful arrival. A betrothal was participated in by all the 
Jews of the town, while a wedding offered "seven days of eating 
and drinking" to all who came — and all were invited. 

In the new world, these important occasions had been stripped 
of their festive character. The Brith was performed in the hospital 
in the presence of three adults. The Mazzol Tov had gone out of 
fashion entirely and so had betrothals. Weddings became very 
private affairs, attended only by the immediate families of the 
wedded pair, and as children became more modern, not even their 
own mothers and fathers were invited. The Sabbath day became 
in this highly commercialized country a day of toil like any other 
day; the Beth Midrash no longer served as a center of social activ- 
ity. The entire social structure which had been a potent factor in 
the lives of the Jews had ceased to exist in the new world. 

The lodge came to play an important part as substitute for the 
missing contacts. It furnished, at least, an opportunity for men to 
come together with others outside of their family and exchange 
viewpoints. 

At first the Jew sought admission to non-Jewish organizations 
such as the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen 
of the World, Forresters, etc., but he found admission attended by 
many difficulties and when he was accepted he found himself lonely 

52 






FRATERNALISM 

and unsatisfied. Brotherly Love, Justice, Truth and Harmony were 
highsounding phrases but did not actually exist in these fraterni- 
ties; and so he began to organize Fraternal Orders of his own. 
Most of these originated in the East, with established branches all 
over the United States, but in 1892, one was founded in Chicago, 
the Somech Noflim (To Support the Fallen). It followed the same 
lines and was planned on the same principles as the non-Jewish 
organizations, except that the ritual was based on the romance of 
Jewish history; it was an advancement on the former, in that it 
also admitted into membership the feminine sex. The meetings 
were secret, admission to the meeting place was by pass word and 
initiations were attended by ceremonies, not unlike those of the 
non-sectarian Orders whose formula they followed closely. 

Moses Barnett was Grand Master of the Somech Noflim. The 
order was given little opportunity to grow in size and moral influ- 
ence, for, weakened by internal and external politics it eventually 
died a premature death. 

Shortly after the World's Columbian Exposition the Western 
Star was organized in Chicago. William A. Jonesi, a practicing 
lawyer, was elected Grand Master and served in that capacity for 
several terms. He received the active cooperation of such men as 
Joseph Epstein, Adolph Bonde, H. M. Barnett, Dr. George Sultan, 
Morris Eller, Isaac Shapiro and Julius Jafre; most of whom subse- 
quently became Grand Masters in the Order. Morris Eller and 
Isaac Shapiro took turns as secretary of the Western Star from the 
time of its inception until its demise. 

The World War crippled most of the fraternal organizations in 
the country; and restrictive immigration brought the death-knell 
to Jewish fraternal societies. The Western Star continued to strug- 
gle for a long time until at last it too was unable to cope with 
the difficulties confronting and not long ago it was dissolved. 

Many national and sectional lodges have chapters in Chicago. 
There are the Independent Order Brith Abraham, Free Sons of 
Israel, Sons of Benjamin, Knights of Joseph, Progressive Order of 
the West and many others. The last named was organized in St. 
Louis, Mo. in 1890 and has been carrying on most of its activities 

53 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

in the mid-western and southern states. It is still very active in 
Chicago where the membership reaches close to four thousand. 
Louis O. Sobel, second vice president of the Order, Joseph P. 
Schiller Past Grand Master and Louis Jafne are the main rep- 
resentatives of the Grand Lodge in this city and are carrying on 
its work with considerable success. Morris Shapiro, of St. Louis, 
has been Grand Secretary of the organization for more than twenty 
years. 

To a modern and enlightened Jewry, fraternal organizations are 
of no significance, but these organizations played an important 
role in the nineties and were greatly instrumental in developing 
a communal life among Jews everywhere. They taught the immi- 
grant Jews order and discipline and gave their members frequent 
opportunities to listen to instructive lectures on a variety of subjects, 
but their greatest accomplishment was the training of men and 
women to care collectively for others as well as for themselves, with 
the result that many splendid workers for the common weal and 
for the benefit of the community were discovered. 

XVII 

PARLIAMENT AND THE "STOCK EXCHANGE OF IDEAS" 

It is true that the Parliament of Religions was an important part 
of the World's Columbian Exposition, but there were some idealists 
who magnified its importance to such an extent as to claim that 
the Parliament was the all-important feature, and the Exposition 
merely a setting for it. 

I confess that this was somewhat my attitude towards it, al- 
though I do not mean to underestimate the greatness of the Chi- 
cago World's Fair. The Parliament was the wonder of the age. 
I cannot imagine anything as colossal and at the same time so 
beautiful and sublime. It seemed to be the final achievement for 
which humanity had waited all through the many centuries of 
ignorance, religious bigotry, envy and hatred. 

Every creed was represented. Even the Catholic Church, which 
had firmly and persistently refused to participate in inter-religious 

54 



PARLIAMENT AND THE "STOCK EXCHANGE OF IDEAS" 

discussions, was represented by no less a dignitary than Archbishop 
Ireland, who took a deep interest in all the proceedings. The Jews 
were well represented; almost every Rabbi in the United States was 
present, under the leadership of Doctor Isaac M. Wise, founder and 
guiding spirit of the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati. The 
Chicago Rabbinate was extremely active and took part in most 
of the deliberations and discussions. Papers were read and lectures 
delivered by Doctor Bernard Felsenthal, Doctor Emil G. Hirsch, 
Doctor Joseph Stolz, Rabbi A. I. Moses, Doctor A. R. Levy and 
Rabbi A. J. Messing. 

The erudition and oratorical powers of Doctor Hirsch, were 
recognized early in the proceedings before the Parliament had 
advanced very far. He became the most popular and most active 
member, and in fact, he was greatly instrumental in making the 
Congress a success. His labors had begun long before the assembly 
convened. He worked together with Mrs. Solomon and was of 
great assistance to her in formulating plans and working out a 
definite program. He foresaw the benefits that were to be derived 
by the children of Israel from such a Parliament of Religions and 
was extremely enthusiastic about it. This is not strange when we 
consider that over the very door-posts of his temple are inscribed 
the words of the Prophet: "My house shall be known as a house 
of worship for all the peoples." Was the Parliament not the be- 
ginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy? 

There were two brothers in almost daily attendance at the Jewish 
Congress. These two men had not yet attained the prominence 
which today makes their names known to all Chicago Jews; at 
that period Bernard and Harris Horwich were still unknown; 
and since I shall have occasion to refer to one or the other often in 
the course of this chronicle, I shall sketch here a brief outline of 
their lives. 

Bernard Horwich left his native town in Russia in the middle 
of the seventies and went to Germany where he remained five 
years. From there he came to the United States and settled in 
Chicago. He engaged in business and made fair progress. Several 
years later he married the daughter of Rabbi Eliezar Anixter. 

55 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



Family responsibilities and business interests occupied his time to 
the exclusion of all else. The arrival in Chicago of his brother 
Harris in 1891 wrought a great change in the lives of both brothers. 
The practical Bernard with his keen sense of humor was a sharp 
contrast to the serious-minded Harris. The latter, the elder of the 
two, newly arrived from Poniemon, was a devoted student of the 
Talmud, until alas! he was ensnared by the "evil spirit" of the 
Has\alah and began to delve into the neo-Hebraic literature and 
the study of mathematics, history and geography. These subjects 
opened new vistas of thought to the young student. The first 
manifestation of the "Maskil" was to defy the "Schadchen" (match- 
maker) and find a girl of his own choice to take unto himself 
for a wife. Harris wooed and won the charming Hinda Sarah. 
After their wedding he took his beloved with him and went to 
Odessa, there to sit at the feet of the great master, the Hebrew 
philosopher "Achad H'am" (one of the people), the pen name 
of Asher Ginsberg. Harris basked in the light of the master and 
absorbed wisdom from this modern Socrates who wielded so power- 
ful an influence over the Russian-Jewish youth of that epoch. 

The pogroms of the early eighties, in Kiev, Bake, Yaleswetgrad 
and Charkof, shattered the Jew's hopes and aspirations; they 
brought to his mind the realization that knowledge, education and 
even assimilation were no preventative against anti-Semitism. Hope- 
less and despondent he exclaimed in the words of the Psalmist: 
"Whence cometh my salvation?" In those distressing hours Doctor 
Leo Pinsker appeared on the Jewish horizon with a reply to the 
despondent interrogation. In a pamphlet entitled "Auto-Emanci- 
pation" he pointed out that the only salvation for Israel lay in 
self-emancipation. Israel must build a home in Zion. 

Like a conflagration this idea swept through the minds of Rus- 
sian Jewry. Professors, students and professional men banded to- 
gether, with the word "Bilu" as their slogan. "Bilu" is taken from 
the first letters of the words: Beth Jacob L'chu W'nelcho (House 
of Jacob go ye and let us all go). Thus a movement to Palestine 
was started. Harris Horwich sent his wife and children back to 
his native town, to the home of her parents and joined the pioneers 

56 



PARLIAMENT AND THE "STOCK EXCHANGE OF IDEAS" 

who went to Palestine, with the understanding that if he found 
favorable conditions there, for the education of their children, he 
would soon send for the family to join him. Harris found the 
raw country unsuitable for rearing children; and so after a short 
sojourn in the land of his forefathers, the land of dreams, he 
came to America to join his three brothers and sent for his family. 

It was not long before Bernard fell under the influence of his 
younger brother Harris. He began to take an interest in spiritual 
things; and Harris was no less influenced by his brother Bernard. 
He became more practical; and while forfeiting none of his dreams 
he earnestly applied himself to business. Side by side with Men- 
delssohn's philosophic dialogues the "Phaedon" and Lessing's 
"Nathan the Wise" lay the cash book and the ledger. 

For more than three and a half decades, these two brothers 
played an important part in the Jewish life of Chicago. They were 
most active in the formation of the communal life of the East 
European immigrants. 

Harris Horwich attended the sessions of the parliament, drink- 
ing with avidity the flow of eloquence spoken in English, his newly 
adoptecll foster tongue, while at the same time, it delighted him 
to disci ver which of the American Rabbis were Talmidei Chacho- 
mim, and which of them were Amei H'arazim. 

The concluding meeting of the Parliament was one grand finale, 
for the glory of mankind and for the redemption of Israel. It was 
a protest meeting against Russia for its ill-treatment of the Jews. 
The outstanding speakers of the occasion were Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 
Professor Charles Zeublin and Dr. Emil G. Hirsch. Each of these 
brilliant orators hurled condemnations against the Russian govern- 
ment that instigated and the hooligans that executed the pogroms. 
George Kennan, Russian traveller, explorer and writer sent a letter 
to the chairman of the meeting in which he expressed his deep 
sympathies for the Jews. 

It is not unlikely that after the meeting most of the Rabbis ad- 
journed to the "Stock Exchange of Ideas" which at this particular 
period played so important a part in the intellectual and cultural 
life of Jewish Chicago. The "Exchange" located at 120 East 

57 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Randolph street, was the stationery store and printing establishment 
of Edward Rubovits and his brother Toby. Edward Rubovits was 
a linguist and a student of Jewish theology and philosophy. There 
were no Jewish clubhouses downtown in those days, and so the 
stationery store at 120 East Randolph street became the place where 
all restless souls congregated. If one chanced to drop in to the 
place of business on an afternoon, he would probably find there 
the deans of the Chicago Rabbinate, Doctor Bernard Felsenthal, 
Doctor Emil G. Hirsch, Doctor Joseph Stolz, Doctor A. R. Levy, 
Rabbi A. I. Moses, Rabbi Aaron Norden and Rabbi A. J. Messing. 
When Julius Rosenthal and Adolph Moses were able to steal an 
hour or two from the intricate legal problems they were engaged 
to solve they came hither to bathe their hot foreheads in the cool 
refreshing waters that flowed from the fountain of knowledge and 
wisdom. They would come to join this remarkable group of 
dreamers and idealists. In the Exchange of Ideas, the philosophic 
systems of Spinoza, Kant and Hegel, of Hume, Mills, Spencer and 
Huxley would be destroyed a hundred times a day by these icono- 
clasts, and reconstructed again as many times. Ofttimes the pole- 
mics would assume the aspect of real combat and threaten serious 
consequences. Soon, however, the storm would subside and the 
combatants would retreat with nothing more serious than an 
avowal "Never again!" But an hour later the intellectual gladiators 
could be seen sitting side by side at a table in a nearby restaurant 
sipping coffee and genially discussing their respective sermons of 
the previous Saturday or Sunday. 

Before leaving the "Stock Exchange of Ideas" and its interesting 
habitues I must not omit two of its very important members whose 
influence on Chicago Jewry left an indelible impression. To all 
appearance there is a vast difference between the two, not only 
physically but also in demeanor, disposition and emotional capacity. 
Many will wonder why I have chosen to group these two dissimilar 
men together. One is tall, erect and graceful in bearing; the other 
is short in stature and not particularly handsome in appearance. 
One is dignified, calm, deliberate and slow in speech, the other is 
vivacious, full of activity and rapid in speech. Yet these men have 

58 



THE JEWISH LABOR MOVEMENT 

many traits in common. They are both inspired by the same ideals 
and fired by the same zeal to measure up to their ideals. Toby 
Rubovits, though by appearance and mentality fit to grace a cathe- 
dra of an institution of learning, is a successful business man, with 
a broad outlook on life, an admirer of the fine arts while not 
unmindful of the woes and grief of human-kind; and his labors 
of the past half a century have been to ameliorate conditions and 
help the downtrodden. He is primarily interested in adult educa- 
tion and has devoted many years to the "Jewish People's Institute," 
of which he has been and still is a director, but the fine Jewish 
background which is his, deeply impressed on him the saying of 
"The Fathers" (Im ain Kemach ain Torah) "Where there is no 
bread there can be no pursuit of knowledge." Accordingly he has 
given much of his time and money to help the poor and needy. 

Henry Greenebaum participated in all work for the ennoblement 
of the Jewish community, with a special interest in promoting the 
arts among the children of Israel. Young men striving to become 
masters of the brush and palette are helped by Greenebaum to 
further their ambitions. Young women aspiring to become musical 
virtuosi, dramatic artists or opera singers — all are assisted by Greene- 
baum. Most interesting were the Saturday afternoons and evenings 
spent at his home. Those were hours of great delight enjoyed not 
only by the hospitable host but by all who were privileged to be 
present. On the occasions referred to he would hold "open house," 
usually attended by young artists, representative of the various 
branches of the arts; poets, composers, dramatists, singers and mu- 
sicians. Conversation sparkled with wit and humor and the enter- 
tainment was of a genuinely artistic kind. Henry Greenebaum 
loved to associate with young people and therefore his spirit has 
remained eternally young. 

XVIII 

THE JEWISH LABOR MOVEMENT 

The five years which followed the trial and conviction of the 
seven men charged with inciting the Haymarket riot, witnessed 

59 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

considerable change. Many Jewish trade unions were organized 
and many strikes were won and lost. The principal trades of the 
Jewish immigrants were within the needle industry, and more than 
ninety percent of the employers in the needle industry were Jews. 
These men were the leaders among the philanthropists and charity 
supporters. The Siegels, Beifields, Kuppenheimers, the Kuhs, Nath- 
ans, Fischers, Kahns and the many other manufacturers of men's 
clothing and women's coats were names found on the directorates 
of all Jewish charitable and philanthropic institutions, because they 
were the largest donors and main contributors. This only intensi- 
fied the enmity between capital and labor in these particular in- 
dustries. The manufacturers felt that their employees ought to be 
grateful for the profound interest they were taking in providing 
for the sick and poor of their people. The employees on the other 
hand, felt that it was with their own money, taken from their 
wages, that these large contributions were made. Whenever a con- 
troversy took place between these two, it was fought with more 
venom and bitterness than all other ordinary conflicts between 
capital and labor. 

Almost simultaneously with the organization of the "Maxwell 
Street Settlement" and the "Self Educational Club" the "Lassalle 
Political Club" came into being. As indicated by its name it was 
purely a social democratic organization. Its object was to educate 
the Jewish masses and to spread the doctrine of Socialism. Peter 
Sissman, Abraham Bisno, Morris Sisskind and the brothers Tuvim 
were its most active members. In method and in form the Lassalle 
Political Club conducted its affairs along the same lines as the 
"Settlement" and the "Self Educational," offering lectures, debates, 
classes, etc.; but its meetings were devoted solely to the study of 
political economy and to the furtherance of socialistic ideals. 

In 1892, Ab Cahn, leader of the socialist party, and for many 
years editor of the "Forward," came to Chicago, where he delivered 
a series of lectures, illustrated with stereoptican views, on "How 
the Jews Live in New York." He gained many converts to the 
cause of Socialism. After a short sojourn he left, satisfied that 
Chicago was a fruitful field for his life's ideal. 

60 



THE JEWISH LABOR MOVEMENT 

The large majority of the Jewish working class were employed 
as cloakmakers, therefore the greatest endeavors were made to 
organize that trade into a Union. In 1892, the same forces which 
governed the Lassalle Political Club finally succeeded in establish- 
ing the Cloak Makers' Union on a fairly substantial foundation. 
Benjamin Schlessinger was elected secretary. He was a man of 
energy, honesty and loyalty to his convictions. The leaders were 
certain that with Schlessinger as secretary, the union of cloakmakers 
was bound to survive. 

Several other Jewish unions were already in existence: the cigar 
makers, cap makers, knee-pants makers, cigarette makers, type- 
setters, etc. Out of these small and large unions Schlessinger suc- 
ceeded in effecting an amalgamation under the name "The Yiddishe 
Vereinigte Gewerkschaften," of which he became the secretary. 
That organization passed through many vicissitudes and fought 
many battles — not always successfully — but the "Vereinigte Gewerk- 
schaften" eventually emerged through all its difficulties and stands 
today as a potent factor not only in the cause of labor but in all 
Jewish affairs. 

Although most of its leaders were socialistically inclined, it parti- 
cipated in all Jewish affairs and contributed to every Jewish cause, 
whether of local, national or international character. In the early 
development of the socialist movement in the United States, it 
followed a purely cosmopolitan tendency; in principle it recog- 
nized no national ties or boundaries. Thanks to the broadminded- 
ness of some of its leaders, and particularly of Ab Cahn, who 
recognized the mischief caused by this policy Modern Jewish social- 
ism like the socialism of Germany, France and Great Britain is 
now based on Nationalism. Jewish Socialism in Chicago was de- 
veloped in a manner which differed from that in New York or 
Philadelphia. It had none of the advantages or disadvantages of 
being dominated by a small group of strong individuals. Here 
the rank and file were given opportunities to express themselves 
and as a result, the movement was broader and more colorful 
while the individualities of its members expanded and their per- 
sonalities grew richer. 

61 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

It was only natural when some of the Chicago comrades demon- 
strated unusual ability in some direction that they should be 
snatched up by the New York organization, as was the case of 
Levin, Hillman and Schlessinger. However, in the course of time, 
by acquiring earnest workers and responsible leaders, socialism lost 
the stigma which had hitherto clung to it and today I know active 
and sincere workers in religious congregations who carry member- 
ship cards issued by the socialist labor party. Likewise I know 
social workers and people of wealth who are pledged to the 
socialist cause. 

XIX 

RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND JEWISH EDUCATION 

There is a vast difference between religious instruction and 
Jewish education, and I must elaborate on the subject more fully 
to avoid misunderstanding. The three Jewish institutions for learn- 
ing: the Cheder, Talmud Torah and Yeshivah are for religious 
instruction only. Jewish education, the legitimate child of Men- 
delssohn, Zunz and Geiger, was brought in to Russia by the spon- 
sors of the Haskalah movement. Under the heading of Jewish 
education are included: Hebrew, as a literary language, Jewish 
history, philosophy and all the other subjects that go to make up a 
culture. All of these subjects were literally prohibited in the three 
schools heretofore mentioned. Even the study of the prophets was 
tabooed in certain quarters. Hebrew was to be used for the pur- 
poses of prayer only and the "Holy Language" was not to be 
desecrated by any other use. 

The zeal and ardor to "teach them diligently unto the sons" was 
of a strictly religious character. The father and mother would take 
a special delight in hearing their son read the portion of the 
prophets, on the Sabbath day before he became Bar Mizwah. Re- 
gardless of how poor or ignorant the parents, they spared no money 
that their sons might be instructed to recite the Kaddish, the prayer 
that would save the father and mother from the "torments of the 
G'henam" after death. More ambitious parents entertained the hope 

62 



RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND JEWISH EDUCATION 

that their son might become a Rabbi in Israel. But this, of course, 
was the highest ambition to which Jewish parents could aspire. 

When the first Talmud Torah was established in Chicago, it was 
an exact replica of the European small-town Talmud Torah. The 
Moses Montefiore Hebrew Free School was a prototype of the one 
in Slabodka or any other small town in Lithuania. The building 
which housed it was small, the rooms dark and dingy, conditions 
unsanitary. There was nothing to attract the fancy of the boy 
raised in an American environment, nothing that could compare 
favorably with the public school. The system of instruction and the 
teachers were even far below those of the European Talmud Torahs. 
The archaic sing-song of the "Komez Alef" became obnoxious and 
detestable to the ear of the child who was attending a school which 
had a well-established, scientific method of pedagogy and where 
all was quiet and refined. Then, too, there was another element 
which made the situation even more complicated and involved. 
The immigrant father, who as a child studying in the Cheder or 
Talmud Torah knew only one language, Yiddish, could not com- 
prehend how it was possible to learn the meaning of Hebrew 
words by translating them into any other language besides Yiddish. 
Accordingly, Yiddish remained the only vehicle through which 
Hebrew and Jewish religion could be acquired. There was another 
reason why this antiquated system had to be retained. Since the 
institution was a religious one, its teachers must necessarily be pious, 
religious men. Hence they were usually old men, and it was almost 
impossible to find an old man who knew both Hebrew and English. 
The result was that the method of instruction in the Cheder and 
Talmud Torah was abominably old-fashioned, causing confusion 
in the childish mind and making these institutions a by-word of 
fear and terror to the Jewish youth of America. 

Bad as the system of the Talmud Torah may have been, it was 
still an improvement on the individual school in each congregation, 
where the Rabbi utilized the school as a means to increase the 
membership in his synagogue. Not infrequently he used the pro- 
ceeds of the school to help cover the deficit incurred by the congre- 
gation. Each Rabbi made his school an experimental laboratory in 

63 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

which to try out his own idea of "Chinuch". The result was 
calamitous. Not alone that it proved a terrible waste of energy and 
money, but the generation which was forced to attend the schools 
grew up without any knowledge of the first rudiments of Hebrew, 
and as little of the principles of Jewish Religion. 

When Harris Horwich came to Chicago, his attention was called 
to the deplorable conditions in the "Moses Montefiore Hebrew Free 
Schools" (there were several of them, branched out in different 
parts of the city). His first endeavor was to organize them all under 
one board of directors and adopt a uniform curriculum. He became 
involved in a terrific struggle, for he encountered a most powerful 
opposition. His plan meant the abolition of several boards, of 
numerous offices and honors which were coveted by many. This 
struggle lasted for a considerable length of time and on more 
than one occasion he was ready to give up the fight in despair. But 
Harris Horwich received moral support from certain quarters that 
were more powerful than the combined efforts of all the Orthodox 
congregations. The columns of the Daily Jewish Courier were at 
his command; and the power which emanated from that source 
could not be overcome. I might state right here and now, that from 
the time the Daily Jewish Courier came under the control of M. Ph. 
Ginsburg, it exerted every effort to help shape the policies of the 
Orthodox Jewish community of this city. With the Courier on 
Horwich's side, victory was ultimately his and the plan was adopt- 
ed, but his labors were not ended; they had just begun. He next 
devoted himself to the task of weeding out the old type of teacher 
who knew nothing of pedagogy and in many instances was ignorant 
even of Hebrew grammar. Here again he received the whole- 
hearted support of the Courier, but this task proved more difficult, 
because it involved not only sentiment but the bread-and-butter of 
a number of men each of whom had a sponsor on the board. How- 
ever, Horwich found support from an unexpected quarter. Ben 
Zion Lazar, one of the stalwart supporters of the Talmud Torah 
since its inception, had worked for its success more than any mem- 
ber. He belonged to the type of the old Talmudic devotees : extreme 
piety, sincerity in all of his enterprises and fervent devotion to the 

64 



THE HUNGRY YEARS 

future of Judaism. He possessed a stout heart and a mind which no 
consideration could swerve from the path of righteousness. He 
recognized at once that Harris Horwich's interest in the Talmud 
Torah came from sources different from his own. Here was a man 
who was not pious, and so there could be no deep religious devotion 
to motivate his fight for an improved system of teaching in the 
school. Lazar realized that it was the Nationalistic ideal and a 
desire for the revival of the Hebrew language that actuated Hor- 
wich to take up the battle, and yet he recognized that Horwich was 
right in principle. Perhaps his own experience with the Talmud 
Torah convinced him of the need for reform. At any rate, once 
he was won over, he threw himself completely into the work of 
improvement. His moral support in the struggle which Harris 
Horwich undertook was of the utmost importance. With Lazar 
as his champion, Horwich faced the ultra-Orthodox members of 
the board and leaders of the congregations without the fear that 
he would be decried as an "Apikores" and denounced as one who 
sought by his reform to undermine the very foundations of Judaism. 

XX 

THE HUNGRY YEARS 

The days that followed the World's Columbian Exposition were 
days of hunger and distress, failure and suicide, poverty and want. 
These conditions spread throughout the land and affected all classes 
of people. The Jews were no exception to the rule and those of 
Chicago were doomed to suffer most. Thousands of people who 
came here to attend the World's Fair, either for business or for 
pleasure, were stranded here with their money spent and without 
means to return to their homes. Shortly after the exposition the big 
railroad strike broke out and strikebreakers from all over the 
country were imported to Chicago, the principal seat of combat. 
Those poor creatures, who came here to find a market for their 
strong arms and thus earn enough money to buy bread for the 
dependents they had left at home, helped to swell the already over- 
flowing population. All existing charitable institutions were worked 

65 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

overtime, but they lacked sufficient facilities to cope with the ever- 
increasing hunger and want. On Jefferson street, the heart of the 
Ghetto, a soup-kitchen took its stand and a Jewish bread line came 
into being. 

The winter of i 893^94 was the most horrible in the history of 
the city. People were literally starving. Conditions outside of Chi- 
cago were not much better. Millions of potential workers, eager for 
occupation of any kind which would earn them enough to subsist, 
tramped the highways of this vast land, but could find no market 
for their brawn. In Chicago new philanthropic institutions were 
founded to alleviate, to some extent, if only temporary, the dis- 
tressing conditions which prevailed everywhere. 

One of these, The Bureau of Personal Service, while not render- 
ing actual relief and not feeding the hungry, was, nevertheless, a 
direct result of the terrible conditions. It is still functioning and is 
now a part of the Jewish Charities. This agency, which has played 
an unusual role, ostensibly in the Ghetto, but in reality in the entire 
city of Chicago, came into being without outlining a definite pro- 
gram except perhaps a negative one: that the assistance which it 
offered at all times, wherever required, should not be regarded as 
charity. The high standing it attained as one of the most efficient 
social agencies in the city was due to the kindness and remarkable 
ability of its superintendent, the late Minnie F. Lowe, and her 
capable assistant, Minnie Jacobs, later known as Minnie Berlin. 

The Council of Jewish Women was not the only accomplishment 
of Mrs. Hannah G. Solomon. She was also the founder of the 
"Bureau of Personal Service." She conceived the idea of such an 
agency in the dark days of the winter of 1893-94, when as chair- 
man of a committee of the Chicago Women's Club she had charge 
of an emergency work room. Here she came into contact with 
victims of the post-exposition depression. While she and her staff 
of workers did everything in their power to mitigate the abject 
poverty, she discovered the meaning of the Biblical phrase that 
"man cannot live on bread alone." She found that lack of bread 
was not the greatest misfortune in life, that there were heartaches 
more poignant than the pangs of hunger. She set out to organize 

66 



THE HUNGRY YEARS 

an institution which would relieve those whose tragedies were not 
those of physical want. 

A serious social problem which confronted Chicago Jewry at this 
time was wife abandonment among the immigrants. The number 
of such cases was alarming and it looked as if the highest Jewish 
ideal, the foundation, the rock on which rested Israel's moral force, 
viz., the unity and chastity of the family, was crumbling. The fact 
that the trouble was a natural sequence of the period of transition 
made it no easier to bear. Almost every case of wife abandonment 
had practically the same history: a young man married a young 
woman in his native European town, had several children and set- 
tled down. When the tide of emigration carried the heads of the 
families out of the country, they left for the United States with the 
intentions of sending for their wives and children as soon as they 
could; and in most cases they did. The first act of kindness shown 
to the husband upon his arrival was for his relatives or friends to 
take him to a barber shop. After a half hour of the barber's skill he 
looked into the mirror and couldn't believe he was the same person ; 
he looked twenty years younger. The loss of his beard and earlocks 
had a psychological effect on him as well: the erstwhile shy, pro- 
vincial fellow who had feared all women became aggressive with 
the donning of his American-cut clothes. When he finally did send 
for his wife and children he found that, while he had grown 
younger and more handsome, she had aged with drudgery, worry 
and lack of personal care. Furthermore, he had already become 
"Americanized" while she was a "greenhorn." There is no need 
to chronicle the ultimate end of such a situation. 

Under the same class of cases came another even more serious 
than the one just related. Very often the young husband after his 
"Americanization process" went to the Rabbi and obtained a "Gett" 
to send to his wife in Russia. During the Czar's regime such a 
divorce was recognized and considered valid according to the laws 
of Russia. Under the Talmudic laws its legality could not be ques- 
tioned, but it often happened that many years after such a divorce, 
after the man was married again and had a family with his second 
wife, his first wife would appear with her children. To treat cases 

67 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of this kind required more than the mere application of the law. 
Here were two wives and two sets of children, all innocent victims. 
To adjust the matter to the satisfaction of everybody was impossible. 
To inflict punishment on the man who was the source of the tangle 
would be of no avail to the injured parties and would only deprive 
both families of his support. 

Problems of such a character were brought to the office of the 
Bureau of Personal Service and Miss Lowe undertook to adjust 
them. It wasn't long before the Bureau acquired a reputation for 
settling such cases to the best advantage of all persons concerned. 
All judges in Cook County and other officials who had occasion to 
deal with Miss Lowe or Miss Jacobs paid them the compliment of 
reposing the fullest confidence in them. In fact, when one of these 
cases chanced to come into court, no judge would make a disposi- 
tion of it without first consulting a representative of the Bureau. 

The Bureau of Personal Service acquired its well-earned fame 
mainly because of the unprecedented nature of its work. It handled 
cases that hitherto had not been treated by any organization and it 
did this in a way unprescribed by any rules or by-laws. Each indi- 
vidual case, as it presented itself, was treated on its own merits, 
independent of all other influences. 

Not long after the organization of the Bureau, the Juvenile Court 
was created by an act of the Illinois Legislature. To this new 
tribunal was given the difficult task of dealing with the perplexing 
problem of the wayward child. An enlightened humanity was 
finally convinced that the juvenile offender who swayed from the 
path of righteousness needed different treatment and other consid- 
erations than those accorded to the adult criminal. A system of 
probation was inaugurated and the County engaged a corps of 
probation officers. Here a new kind of social service opened up for 
the Bureau. Minnie F. Lowe and Minnie Berlin qualified as pro- 
bation officers and each of them rendered efficient service. Although 
they received no compensation from the County and their sphere 
of activity was confined to Jewish children only, nevertheless, when 
a judge of the Juvenile or Criminal court had an important case 
involving the fate of a juvenile, he would call in either Miss Lowe 

68 



THE HUNGRY YEARS 

or Mrs. Berlin and assign the case to her, with the knowledge that 
with the case in such hands he was not likely to err in its final 
disposition. 

While the problem of youth is intricate and complex everywhere 
and among all peoples, the problem of the child of the Jewish im- 
migrant was much more difficult and involved greater perplexities. 
Israel Zangwill, discussing this subject, said: "While there is always 
a difference between the old and the new generations, the difference 
between the Jewish immigrant and his American child is that of 
ten generations." 

The Jewish child who was born in this country or brought here 
at an early age became more and more estranged from his immi- 
grant parents. He could not fathom their inner selves, steeped as 
they were in old world heritages and beliefs, and was unable to 
comprehend their outer life. He was conscious, however, that they 
were altogether different from the others around him. From his 
earliest childhood he was beset with two commands: "Thou must" 
and "Thou must not." Reasons for his enforced actions were never 
vouchsafed him. It was sufficient only that he listen and obey. Thus 
he grew to regard his parents as tyrants, interfering with all his 
innocent pleasures. The love that usually exists in the child for its 
parents turned to fear and evasion. Even his respect for the "old 
man" and "old woman" turned to patronizing condescension. The 
fear of bodily punishment was the only rein to hold the child in 
check and when he learned how to escape that, there was nothing 
left to keep him disciplined. And so it was not strange that the 
Jewish children of immigrant parents contributed in a large meas- 
ure to child delinquency and consequently became wards of the 
Juvenile Court. It fell to the lot of Miss Lowe and Mrs. Berlin to 
deal with these delinquents, and often, what was even worse, with 
the parents, who hadn't the slightest idea of what it was all about. 
The results of their work can be attested to by men honored and 
respected in the community today who were rescued from criminal 
careers, and by women who are devoted wives and mothers and 
decent, respected women — thanks to the tact and kindness of Miss 
Lowe and Mrs. Berlin. 

69 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

XXI 

MOTHERS IN ISRAEL 

The words "Johannah Lodge" struck my ears almost the first few 
hours I was in Chicago, and for many years I thought it synony- 
mous with "Johannah Loeb," because one was never mentioned 
without the other. Subsequently I learned that the Johannah Lodge 
was composed of a number of women who formed a sister organi- 
zation to the B'nai B'rith so that they might do the same kind of 
work among the women that the older Order was doing among 
the men. Mrs. Johannah Loeb was one of the founders of the 
sister lodge. The leaders of the B'nai B'rith of that period didn't 
relish the idea of having women as competitors and they waged a 
silent warfare against the sister organization, but Johannah Loeb 
could not be easily subdued or discouraged. She retaliated by con- 
tinuously improving upon her work and augmenting her sphere 
of action. 

She surrounded herself with a group of women younger than 
herself and trained them to become leaders and workers for a better 
humanity of a future generation. Among her most ardent admirers 
and supporters was the brilliant young Nannie Aschenheim, who 
is now Mrs. Ignace J. Reis. Mrs. Loeb was quick to recognize the 
qualities in the young girl who had brought with her from her 
native Germany a splendid education, and was occupying a posi- 
tion as foreign correspondent and official translator for the Deer- 
ing International Harvester Company. And Nannie Aschenheim, 
with all the fire of youth and the enthusiasm which is the very 
essence of adolescence, idolized the elder woman for the splendid 
work she accomplished in her endeavors to alleviate distress and 
aid the needy. The girl fell completely under the spell of Mrs. 
Loeb and in the course of time relieved her of many of her labors 
by taking them upon her own young shoulders and carrying them 
out in precisely the same manner as Mrs. Loeb herself would have 
done. 

It has been said that to study the character of a men it is ne- 
cessary to look first into the life of his mother. The above little 

70 



MOTHERS IN ISRAEL 

monograph on Johannah Loeb will explain in some measure the 
unselfish work and the many personal sacrifices which Jacob M. 
Loeb made in behalf of the poor and persecuted. He is one of 
the four sons of Johannah Loeb. 

Nannie Reis has continued for the past forty years to render 
effective service in club work. She stands out as one of the most 
intellectual woman workers. Religiously she is a follower of the 
high ethical principles preached by her eminent teacher Doctor 
Emil G. Hirsch, whose memory she reveres to this day. She calls 
her religious tenets "Prophetic Judaism." Mrs. Reis is a fluent 
speaker who never hesitates to expound her views or profess her 
Jewishness. She has received recognition as a leader in Jewish 
as well as in non-Jewish organizations. Her varied activities are 
so manifold and the list of offices which she graces so long that for 
reasons of economy of space we shall not enumerate them here, 
except to mention three of the offices in which she has acquitted 
herself nobly and of which she is inordinately proud: as wife of 
Dr. Ignace J. Reis, as mother of Dr. Ralph A. Reis and as grand- 
mother of his two little daughters. 

Another figure of exceptional ability is that of Mrs. Benjamin 
Davis (nee Jeanette Isaacs). She was born, was educated and 
taught school in the city of New York. From her scholarly father 
and brother she received a fine conception of Talmudic and pro- 
phetic literature. Endowed with a fine imagination, a keen in- 
tellect and a wide secular knowledge, her Jewishness is at once 
philosophical, ethical and poetical. Mrs. Davis has been a Chicagoan 
since 1881 and may claim a large share in the promotion of culture 
amongst Orthodox Jewry in this city. I know of no movement 
for the immigrants of Eastern Europe, in which Mrs. Davis did 
not take a leading part. Her activities, however, did not end 
here; she took part in causes sponsored by Liberal and reform 
Judaism as well, provided they proved consistent with her own 
religious views. Her largest field of activity was the renaissance 
of Jewish Nationalism. She founded and headed several organiza- 
tions of women whose aim was to help build Palestine and to ease 
the lot of those already there. Mrs. Davis performed no inconsider- 

71 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

able service in the local and national Zionist organizations and 
the work she rendered was of a practical and lasting nature. 

XXII 

THE BIBLICAL SPIRIT OF CHARITY 

The Jewish woman awakened to her possibilities with the found- 
ing of the Council of Jewish Women, was not to be halted in 
her march of progress. Nor was all the activity confined to those 
belonging to Reform Sisterhoods. Their sisters on the west side 
did not lag behind, but also created charitable and philanthropic 
societies. The difference was that the woman of the west side had 
behind her her own personal experience with charity, as much 
as donor, perhaps, as she had as recipient. For it must be re- 
membered that not a few of the immigrants had enjoyed wealth 
and affluence before they were reduced to poverty by the pogroms 
which drove them out of their homes and into America. They 
arrived here penniless and were compelled to accept aid, but when 
finally they succeeded to reestablish themselves in comparative 
comfort, they did not forget their less fortunate fellow immigrants. 
And having once known the bitter sting of charity, they sought 
for a way of relieving their brethern without outraging their sen- 
sitive feelings. Their aim was to help wherever possible by making 
the recipients self-supporting and consequently self respecting. 
Many women, daughters of pious immigrant mothers, remembered 
the tin boxes nailed to the wall into which their mothers had 
dropped coins on all occasions, until the boxes were filled. They 
recalled the spirit in which these contributions were made, the 
beaming face and shining eyes of the mother as she inserted the 
coin. 

The American daughters were anxious to emulate their mothers' 
example. In 1896 several women organized the "Women's Loan 
Association," to help worthy families with a loan without interest, 
of a sum sufficient to make the family self-supporting. Among the 
pioneers in this work were Mrs. I. J. Robin, Mrs. B. Pirosh, Mrs. 
Leo Porges, Miss Jennie Norden and Mrs. Joseph Werb. 

72 



THE POET IS DEAD! LONG LIVE POETRY 

The system these women employed was simple but effective; 
an application for a loan had to be accompanied by the signatures 
of two business men. Upon the receipt of an application the com- 
mittee on loans made an investigation of the applicant and his 
conditions, after which the loan would be granted or rejected, 
without unnecessary delay. There were years when more than 
thirty thousand dollars were given out in loans. Miss Jennie H. 
Norden who had been the secretary of the society for thirty-four 
years, assured me that only a very small per cent of the loans is 
listed as "uncollectable" and not a single loss was due to the 
unwillingness of the borrower to pay. In all cases where the money 
was not returned, it was invariably due to some unforseen mis- 
fortune to the family. Legal proceedings were never taken to 
enforce collection. The Women's Loan Association, small as was 
its beginning, saved thousands of families from financial distress. 
Mrs. Hannah G. Solomon and Minnie F. Lowe cooperated with 
the workers of the loan society and accomplished great things 
without ostentation, in the true spirit of the Bible. The organiza- 
tion is still in existence, and is functioning effectively under the di- 
rection of Mrs. Michael L. Aren, with the assistance of her fellow- 
workers many of whom are daughters of the original members. 

XXIII 

THE POET IS DEAD! LONG LIVE POETRY 

The latter part of October, 1892, a memorial meeting was held 
in Metropolitan Hall, Jefferson and O'Brien streets, to mourn the 
death of the great Hebrew poet Leon Gordon, who had passed 
away earlier in the month. Among the speakers were Doctor 
Bernard Felsenthal, Doctor Herman Eliassof, S. A. Schneider and 
Leon Zolotkoff. Many hundreds of Chicago's Maskilim gathered 
at the hall to pay homage to the memory of one who had bewailed 
the sorrows and sufferings of the Jews in verses as poignant as 
the laments of Jehudah Halevi. It was an opportune moment to 
think again of Hebraic literature. At the close of the meeting, a 
few of the leading spirits agreed to call a meeting in the near 

73 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

future for the reorganization of the Hebrew library. Two weeks 
later, on a Sunday afternoon, a conference was called in a private 
residence on Judd street where a new literary society was formed 
and arrangements were made to gather together the volumes of 
the old library and to procure proper quarters to house the new 
library. 

Shortly thereafter a charter was procured and the name of the 
old "Dorshe Safruth Ivrith" was changed to "Shochre $fath Over." 
A temporary shelter was rented on Twelfth street near Desplains 
street. At this period the number of readers of Hebrew literature 
had greatly increased and many new recruits were enlisted to 
help spread one of the most ancient literatures known to civiliza- 
tion, in one of the youngest countries. Among those who joined 
were Harris and Bernard Horwich, August Turner, Fred Bernson, 
S. I. Mehlman, I. Trilling, L. Wolpe, M. B. Rappeport, David 
Rosenberg, A. Levenson, A. Siegel and M. Sider. Doctor A. P. 
Kadison, Peter Wiernik and Leon Zolotkoff were still the leaders 
of the movement. But the one to whom the society and the library 
meant more than everything else — one who loved Hebrew and 
its literature, was M. Sider. Through his efforts not only were all 
the modern books, magazines and periodicals in the Hebrew lan- 
guage gathered under one roof, but an excellent collection of the 
classics was added as well. To secure a permanent home for the 
library, M. Sider and a group of equally enthusiastic workers, in- 
cluding Wolf Sudavsky and H. Rivkin purchased in the name of the 
Shochre Sfath Over society a three story residential building on 
Johnson street, between Twelfth and Taylor streets. The structure 
was remodeled to suit the purpose for which it was acquired. A 
large reading room was located on the main floor, the second floor 
was divided into several smaller reading rooms and the third floor 
which had at one time served as a ballroom, was converted into 
a meeting hall. 

The home of the Hebrew literary was neither large nor beautiful, 
the members of the society were not wealthy, but almost every 
phase of culture that came to the Jewish West Side emanated 
from this building. M. Sider presided over the destinies of the 

74 



THE MASTER OF CONDITIONS 

society for several years and was succeeded in turn by Bernard 
Horwich, Leon Zolotkoff, Baruch Blumenthal, Max Shulmen and 
Meyer Abrahams, but at no time did Sider cease to be the central 
figure of the organization. 

To a people of modern times, not familiar with that period, these 
few lines will hardly convey the real significance of the incidents 
of that era and their importance in the life of present day Jewry 
in Chicago. A great number of the leading men and women of 
today made this library their second home. It was the lying-in 
hospital where their inspirations were born; the nursery where 
their ideas were nourished and molded towards realization. 

When the settlement of the west side Jews reached out further 
west and the fine homes on Ashland boulevard, Marshfield and 
Winchester avenues became embellished with "Mezuzahs" on their 
doorposts, the library sold its home on Johnson street and secured 
a more ostentatious one on Ashland boulevard near Polk street. 
The "Shochre Sfath Over" served the Jewish community of Chi- 
cago faithfully and well from the time of the death of the great 
Hebrew poet, Leon Gordon, October 1892, until the realization of 
his poetic dream — when Palestine became the homeland of the 
Jewish people, by official declaration of the British government 
through Lord Balfour. 

With our entry into the war, the latter part of 1917, the Hebrew 
literary society and its library was practically deserted, except for 
the few aged men who were too old to join the army. And so, 
the building was sold, the books distributed and the "Chebrah 
Shochre Sfath Over" ceased to exist. 

XXIV 

THE MASTER OF CONDITIONS 

After the Babylonian captivity, Jews living in Eastern countries 
in large numbers, were governed almost entirely by a "Prince in 
Captivity." He came to the office by descent from the house of 
David. The exalted position which he occupied was recognized 
by all the subjects of the land. He ranked fourth in line from the 

75 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

king and was Supreme Judge of his people. He stood between the 
sovereign monarch and the Jews. In some countries this system 
continued up to the eleventh century. 

In the German provinces, during the middle ages, every Duchy 
had a "HofF Jude," who occupied a somewhat similar position 
to that of the "Prince in Captivity." Except that he did not come 
to his office by virtue of his birth, nor was he chosen by his people. 
In most instances it was the power of wealth that won him grace 
in the eyes of his sovereign. Occasionally he happened to be the 
Court Physician and ingratiated himself into the Duke's favor 
through his medical skill. 

Adolf Kraus was the modern Prince in Captivity. He came into 
his position by reason of neither wealth nor medical skill. He 
could not have been a descendant of the House of David, for he 
was a "Cohen" (of the family of Priests) and hence a descendant of 
the tribe of Levi. He was destined to become a leader in Israel 
by reason of two passions which actuated his every deed. He was 
endowed with a strong love for his people and an enormous ca- 
pacity for action. It is this combination in Adolf Kraus which 
made him one of the most outstanding figures in the life of Amer- 
ican Jewry in the past quarter of a century. The influence he 
exercised and the great things he accomplished will long outlive 
his mortal clay. 

Adolf Kraus was born in a small town in Bohemia. His father 
died when he was a lad of thirteen. At the age of fifteen he came 
to the United States. His path was not strewn with roses and life 
was not too kind to him, but he was young and not easily dis- 
couraged. If he failed in one enterprise, with renewed energy and 
courage he tried another. He finally came to Chicago, where he 
entered upon the study of law. After many struggles and personal 
sacrifices, he was admitted to the bar in the year 1877. Six months 
before he was granted the right to practice the legal profession, he 
married Mathilda Hirsch. Having achieved the two highest ambi- 
tions of his life: marriage to the woman he loved and admission 
to the bar, he set out to relieve the woes of his distressed people 
and to remove the hardships which beset their path. 

76 



THE MASTER OF CONDITIONS 

Due to human shortcomings, the historian cannot relate the 
thoughts and dreams of great leaders but only their accomplish- 
ments. Who knows the dreams and hopes of a David Alroy, of 
an Oliver Cromwell, Benjamin Disraeli, Napoleon Bonaparte or 
Theodor Herzl? And who can tell of the dreams and aspirations 
of Adolf Kraus? He embarked on a political career and was ap- 
pointed in succession: member of the Board of Education, president 
of the first city Civil Service Commission and Corporation Counsel. 
He joined the B'nai B'rith and soon became a power in the sixth 
district. Together with his brother-in-law M. M. Hirsch, Israel 
Cowen, Adolph Loeb and several others of the younger and more 
progressive element in the organization, he began a fight against 
the narrow policies of the Order. They succeeded in breaking down 
the bars against the admission to membership of Eastern European 
immigrants. Adolf Kraus did not stop there; his next move was 
to introduce new ideals and to make the organization more uni- 
versal in scope; to abolish if possible, the insurance feature and the 
sick benefits, and place it on a higher plane of Jewish culture. 
After a long campaign, when the late Leo N. Levi became presi- 
dent of the Constitutional Grand Lodge, he also accomplished 
these reforms. For many years he was a member of the Constitu- 
tional Grand Lodge and served on the Court of Appeals of the 
Order. 

Leo N. Levi died before his term of office expired and just as it 
was at the death of Moses the question was heard: "Who will lead 
us?" In 1905, the Order at its convention in New Orleans elected 
Adolf Kraus president and his great work began. Much of it is 
well known to those who have followed Jewish events in the past 
two and a half decades the rest is known only to a few of his 
friends and co-workers. Adolf Kraus raised the Order B'nai B'rith 
from a small, insignificant fraternal organization, with a limited 
number of members, to an international body wielding consider- 
able power. On several occasions it approached rulers and po- 
tentates in the name of the entire Jewish race, and Mr. Kraus in 
turn, was addressed by ambassadors and Prime Ministers as the 

77 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Jewish representative, the "Prince in Captivity" of the Jewish 
people. 

A chronicle of the work accomplished by Adolf Kraus in behalf 
of his fellow Jews in this country and in foreign lands, is recorded 
in the annals of the B'nai B nth and vividly described in his auto- 
biography. I shall not, therefore, attempt to repeat the details 
of those accomplishments which have already become a part of 
the history of the Jews, but shall relate a few of the less dramatic 
incidents in his life — incidents with which I am personally familiar 
but which were too trivial to the modest Adolf Kraus to be worth 
including in his autobiography. 

Shortly after the Russian Revolution, after the reactionary forces 
had regained the upper hand, the Duma (Russian Parliament) had 
been dissolved by the Czar and its progressive members fled to 
Helsingfors, Shmarya Levin, a Zionist leader and a member of 
the progressive wing of the Duma came to America and to Chi- 
cago. His mission was Zionism. It was in the early days of the 
movement and at the time of his expected arrival the Zionist or- 
ganization was extremely low in funds and could not afford to 
entertain the leader in a manner commensurate with his importance 
and station. A committee visited Mr. Kraus to ask that the execu- 
tive members of the sixth district of the B'nai B nth participate 
in the entertainment of the distinguished guest, and share the ex- 
penses. Mr. Kraus received the committee very cordially and after 
relating one or two anecdotes in his characteristically droll man- 
ner, he finally announced: "Gentlemen, it will give me great 
pleasure if you will honor me by allowing me to undertake per- 
sonally all the expenses that Dr. Levin might incur during his 
sojourn in our city." And without further ado, he telephoned, in 
the presence of the committee, to the Auditorium Hotel and en- 
gaged a suite of rooms to be placed at the disposal of Doctor Levin 
for the duration of his stay in Chicago. Besides the many dinners 
and receptions Mr. Kraus tendered in honor of Dr. Levin, he ar- 
ranged a banquet at the Standard Club, for more than two hun- 
dred guests chosen from the most prominent men and women of 
this city. Mr. Kraus acted as toastmaster and because the guest 

78 



THE MASTER OF CONDITIONS 

of honor was unfamiliar with the English language conducted 
the proceedings in German. The speakers of the evening were 
Doctor Emil G. Hirsch, who delighted his audience with a most 
beautiful oration in German and Doctor Levin, who like Doctor 
Hirsch was a graduate of the High School for Jewish Knowledge 
in Berlin and spoke German almost as well as his mother tongue. 

On the 14th of August, 1905, a deputation consisting of Adolf 
Kraus, Isaac N. Seligman, Jacob H. SchifT, Oscar Strauss and 
Adolph Lewisohn called on Count de Witte, Prime Minister of 
Russia, to ask him to intercede with his government on behalf 
of the Jews in Russia. Count de Witte was at this time in America 
at the invitation of President Roosevelt to negotiate a peace treaty 
between Japan and Russia who were then at war. 

The press published a report of the interview between the com- 
mittee and the Count in which the latter was supposed to have 
delivered an ultimatum to the members of the Jewish committee 
that if they could promise that they would stop the Jews of Russia 
from being revolutionists, he in turn, would see that their condition 
was bettered and restrictive laws against them removed. The press 
notices further stated that the members of the committee promised 
to use their power to influence their Russian brethren. 

As a matter of fact, the conversation which actually took place 
between de Witte and the delegation was as follows: 

Mr. Schiff : "Will you please tell me why you, as a Russian, have 
full rights in your country, while he (pointing to Mr. Wilenkin, a 
Russian Jew, who was acting as M. de Witte's interpreter) also a 
Russian, has none?" 

Count de Witte: The laws now in existence against the Jews 
are inhuman and ought to be repealed, I admit, but not much can 
be expected from the Emperor as long as the young Jews are lead- 
ers among the revolutionists. The members of the delegation ought 
to use their influence to convince the Jews that it is to their interest 
to be loyal to the Emperor, and if that could be done the Emperor 
would probably grant relief. 

Mr. SchifT: "We have no such influence, that influence must 
come from within and not from without. And is it not probable 

79 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

that the young men became revolutionists in the hope that a re- 
public would grant them the just laws which are denied them 
under the rule of the Emperor?" 

Mr. de Witte: "The revolutionists cannot succeed. Someday a 
republic may be established, but none of us will live to see the day, 
for the Romanoffs will rule Russia for at least another hundred 
years." 

However, the incorrect report of the press caused the Russian- 
born Jews in this country to become greatly provoked at the dele- 
gation for constituting itself the mouthpiece for Russian Jewry 
and at a time when its bravest sons and daughters were giving their 
lives on the altar of Russian freedom, to make such promises to 
the Czar's government. 

When Mr. Kraus returned to Chicago, a public meeting was 
arranged in the Anshe K'nesseth Israel Synagogue, on the corner 
of Clinton and Judd streets, at which Mr. Kraus was to report the 
results of his mission. The meeting was held on a Sunday after- 
noon and a large audience gathered to hear his report. A group 
of radicals incensed at the reported proceedings of the conference, 
came to the synagogue with the avowed purpose of causing a dis- 
turbance. They almost succeeded in breaking up the meeting. The 
police were called out and about a dozen of the ringleaders were 
arrested. 

As assistant city prosecutor, assigned to the Maxwell street po- 
lice court, it fell to my lot to prosecute the law violators. The law 
firm of Clarence S. Darrow was engaged to defend them and 
Peter Sissman, then a partner of Mr. Darrows' took personal charge 
of the defense. He demanded separate trials and a jury in each 
case. We tried the first case and the jury brought in a verdict of 
"guilty." As each defendant was charged with several violations 
it would have taken several months to dispose of all the cases. A 
few days' recess was called after the first trial. As for my own 
feelings in the matter, I experienced a conflict within me between 
my sworn duty and an ideal which I cherished ever since my 
boyhood. However, after I won the first victory for law and order, 
I felt that not only had I discharged my duty as an officer of the 

80 



THE B'NAI B'RITH MAKES PROGRESS 

law, but that the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois were 
vindicated and could now well afford to condone the wrongs com- 
mitted. While waiting for the day of the second trial, I called on 
Mr. Kraus, to ascertain his feelings on the subject, since he was the 
only person aggrieved. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned 
from his own lips that he was fully in accord with my views. He 
explained: "I cannot blame these people for feeling as they do. 
They received the wrong impression through the reports of the 
press concerning our interview with Count de Witte and although 
they probably acted too rashly, I believe they have already been 
sufficiently punished. If I may make a suggestion, I shall appreci- 
ate greatly your withdrawing the other charges pending against 
them." His wish was complied with and all the cases were dis- 
missed on motion of the prosecution. 

In addition to a fine legal mind which has won him success and 
respect, Adolf Kraus possesses qualities which attest to the human 
goodness of the man — loyalty to his family and his friends, a sense 
of humor and a jovial nature. He is a student of life and a truly 
self-made man. Faithfully and laboriously he has built up a posi- 
tion which he has come to occupy as a leader of men and a "Prince 
in Captivity." 

XXV 

THE B'NAI B'RITH MAKES PROGRESS 

The B'nai B'rith was organized in 1843 but remained stationary 
for half a century. It first saw the light of the day in the city of 
New York. Twelve men who were in the habit of meeting daily 
at luncheon conceived the idea of organizing. No ideals motivated 
them, except perhaps a tendency to imitate the "Goyim." Mr. 
Kraus writes in his autobiography: "While it was to some extent 
patterned after the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities, it was 
at no time what might be termed a secret organization." Mr. Julius 
Bien, its first president, said long ago: "No doubt, the time is not 
far off when even the transparent veil of secrecy yet remaining will 
also be removed." There is no ! evidence to support the contention 

81 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of the late Boris D. Bogan in his statement: "The purpose of the 
order, however, was loftier than that of a conventional mutual 
aid or philanthropic society: the new group was intended by its 
founders to act as a unifying and cultural agency for the whole of 
American Jewry . . ." Indeed the evidence not only contradicts 
the well meant statement, but tends to prove the reverse. A careful 
perusal of the early history of the Order leads us to a different con- 
clusion. The high ideals which are now the basic principles of 
the order did not begin to take form until the year Nineteen Hun- 
dred, when the late Leo N. Levi became its president. The Order 
was fortunate again in finding a worthy successor to Levi, in the 
person of Adolf Kraus, (Simon Wolf was appointed to finish the 
term which was left vacant by the untimely death of Leo N. Levi) 
who not only completed the task undertaken by Levi, but set for 
himself a high mark of service for his people. 

The B'nai B'rith is composed of seven districts in the United 
States and Canada. Each district derives its power from the Con- 
stitutional Grand Lodge and is in the nature of a sovereign state. 
The sixth district embraces Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, 
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Central 
Canada; it consists of ninety-one Lodges, with a total membership 
of 12,500. The district was organized in the year 1868. 

It is not unlikely that the trivial things accomplished by the 
B'nai B'rith during its early existence loomed as important to its 
members then as the truly humanitarian work later begun under 
the leadership of Leo N. Levi and carried on by Adolf Kraus. 
These men had a wider outlook; they viewed with a broader per- 
spective the historic events of the past in their relation to the future 
and what it held for the scattered children of Israel. Furthermore, 
they were the leaders of a new and more enlightened generation. 
Kraus surrounded himself with a group of men who watched the 
signs of the time, letting nothing of importance pass without an 
effort to arrest an impending evil or enhance and encourage any 
movement anywhere for the betterment of the condition of the 
Jews. In this he was greatly assisted by the secretary of the Order, 

82 



THE B'NAI B'RITH MAKES PROGRESS 

A. B. Seelenfreund, an indefatigable worker for the communal 
good. 

With considerable pride it can be said that most of the things 
that made the B'nai B'rith prominent and gained it recognition 
originated in Chicago. A booklet recently published by the Ramah 
Lodge, No. 33, recounts a historic episode which occurred prior 
to the period when my "Recollections" start, but is of sufficient 
importance to occupy a place in these pages. The Ramah Lodge 
was organized in Chicago nine years before District No. 6 was 
founded and six years before the Civil War. The story reads: "At 
the outbreak of the Civil War, under the auspices of Ramah Lodge, 
a massmeeting of Chicago Jews was called for the purpose of rais- 
ing money to recruit a company of Jewish volunteers to form a 
part of the 82nd Regiment of Illinois Volunteers commanded by 
Col. Frederick Hecker and Lieut. Col. Edward S. Solomon. The 
meeting was a great success. The sum of eleven thousand dollars 
was promptly subscribed, from which fund a bonus of one hun- 
dred dollars each was given to one hundred and four men enlist- 
ing in the company. With one exception, all of the officers of the 
company were Jews and they achieved a splendid record in the 
war. 

"Shortly after the enlistment, brothers Henry Greenebaum, Abra- 
ham Hart and Joseph Frank went to Camp Butler, near Spring- 
field, to deliver a regimental flag which had been made by Jewish 
women whose husbands and brothers were affiliated with Ramah 
Lodge. The flag was entrusted to the Jewish Company, Company 
C, and that same flag was carried throughout the war by a Jewish 
soldier named Levi. 

"A committee of Ramah Lodge was very active all through the 
war in seeing to it that the families of the married men in the 
company were properly taken care of and also carried on a re- 
cruiting office to secure recruits. 

"On June 17th, 1865, the 82nd Regiment returned to Chicago. 
The flag was riddled with bullets and out of a thousand members 
of the regiment, only two hundred and fifty returned.' , 

The first really important work the B'nai B'rith undertook was 

83 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

a campaign against the exploitation of Jewish peculiarities of speech 
and dress, as these were caricatured on the stage and in print. The 
movement was originally organized by Hugo Pam, of Chicago, 
before he became Judge. After some successful attacks on this 
practice, Mr. Pam was offered the cooperation of B'nai B'rith. 
Finally the work was taken over entirely by the Order and incor- 
porated into its program. For a score of years now the B'nai B'rith 
has been protecting the Jewish name and reputation. It prevailed 
upon actors to abandon the practice of ridiculing and caricaturing 
the Jew for the amusement of their audiences. The so-called "hu- 
morous" publications have ceased making stupid jokes at the ex- 
pense of the Jew. And the press no longer designates the race 
and nationality of a Jewish criminal, any more than it does in the 
case of a non-Jewish criminal. 

All of these changes were brought about through the strenuous 
efforts of the Anti-Defamation League, an off-spring of the B'nai 
B'rith, born in Chicago. 

The next step, which I consider the all-important one, is the 
"Hillel Foundation." In his inaugural address, in 1900, Leo N. 
Levi said: 

"It has been said that we are entering upon a new era in the 
destiny of the Jew. I believe that, I believe it firmly. I stated years 
ago that I believed that the salvation of Judaism was the American 
born Jew. I have travelled over this land and I find our young 
men and our young women, unversed as they are, in the old tradi- 
tional forms and ceremonies, strangers to the ritual around which 
cling so many tender memories, in the minds of our older people, 
yet animated, inspired and uplifted by the quickening love which 
they bear to the old ancestral faith and craving for a media of 
expression for that feeling. They seek it in good work, in charitable 
deeds, in the amelioration of the conditions of our fellow men; and 
I believe when we bring to them our mission which has sustained 
us so long, when we make apparent that here is the field for their 
activity, we will gain from them that cooperation in the need of 
which we so sorely stand. But we must carry our wares to them, 
we must inspire them with the courage that has sustained us, and 

84 



THE B'NAl B'RITH MAKES PROGRESS 

with the fusion of new spirit and new energy and new aspiration 
to create a new epoch, not for ourselves but for the people for 
whom the Order stands — and it now does stand for the people. 
The greatest organization among Jews known in the history of 
the world, spread over the world, conducted by representative men, 
it stands for the Jew and Judaism." 

These words are the expression of a man who saw in Judaism 
a loftier purpose than mere charity and philanthropy and a richer 
formula than dogma and creed. His vision was almost that of 
a prophet, as it revealed a future in which the basic principles 
of Judaism would be known, understood and practiced by all Jew- 
ish children. And what a beautiful and earnest plea is his in be- 
half of the young generation! 

It took much time before the members of the Order finally 
harkened to the words uttered by their president. During this time 
great changes had been wrought in the life of the Jew in the United 
States. The children and grandchildren of the immigrants of the 
eighties had grown into men and women who had been and were 
being educated in the colleges and universities. Here and there 
were gaps made by some of these young people who had left the 
Jewish ranks. But most of our children have been miraculously 
saved. They possess the spirit of youth, and particularly, of Jewish 
youth. It is they who were most instrumental in transforming 
into reality that which Leo N. Levi visualized, the "HILLEL 
FOUNDATION." 

The "Hillel Foundation" is the noblest enterprise in the long 
history of the B'nai B'rith and I am not unmindful of the stu- 
pendous tasks it accomplished in arresting pogroms in Russia, Rou- 
mania and Poland. God knows the magnitude of that great work! 
And yet, it dealt only with the physical safety of the Jew. The 
"Hillel Foundation" deals with his soul, with the very essence of 
life, the life of a people, the life of the Jew. 

The "Hillel Foundation" is the store-room wherein is being 
preserved Jewish culture, Jewish talent and Jewish genius. It is 
really the only means by which we can retain the very flower 
of our youth unto ourselves. If I seem to wax eloquent on this 

85 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

subject it is because of my unbounded admiration for its work. I 
know the Hillel groups from personal contact. I have had in- 
timate acquaintance with the functioning of this institution. In 
the past several years I have had occasion to visit some of the 
universities in which Hillel Foundation has its roots and is exer- 
cising its healthy influence over the Jewish student body. I met 
young men and young women who came to the university with- 
out any knowledge of Judaism; who believed that "Judaism was 
not a religion but a curse." By coming in contact with "Hillel 
Foundation" their entire mental attitude was changed. They began 
to know and appreciate Jewish ideals. Now, they are laboriously 
toiling to expand and interpret the culture of their forefathers 
which was heretofore unknown to them, for their fellow students. 
If the B nai B nth had accomplished nothing more than the estab- 
lishment of the Hillel Foundation, Dayonu! The Hillel Founda- 
tion too is a child of the sixth district. The B'nai B'rith is now 
a great force in American Judaism. We must forget, therefore, all 
the errors it committed in the long ago and admire it, appreciate 
it and respect it for what it is now. 

The following is the list of presidents who served district num- 
ber six, from the time of its organization in 1868, down to the 
present day: 

Henry Greenebaum, three terms, Simon Rosenfeld, Doctor 
Bernard Felsenthal, E. C. Hamburgher, Adolph Moses, who held 
the office for two terms, Louis Rindskopf, Herman Felsenthal, 
Henry Ullman, Charles Koziminski, R. Reichman, David M. Am- 
berg, Philip Stein, Samuel Woolner, Adolph Freund, Adolf Kraus, 
Adolph Loeb, Bernhard A. Lange, Samuel Klein, Samuel Taussig, 
Harry Swimmer, Henry Herman, Leon Schlossman, Maurice M. 
Hauseman, Israel Cowen, Albert Salzenstein, Samuel Folz, Doctor 
Aron Norden, Sigmund Lubliner, Bernard Ginsburg, Max Ascher, 
Adolph Loeb, Sigmund Livingston, Jacob L. Strelitsky, who was 
re-elected, Adolf Kraus, Isaac Goldberg, Julius H. Meyer, two 
terms, Gus. M. Greenebaum, Jonas Weil, Adolph D. Weiner, Maur- 
ice Berkson, William Wilhartz, Sylvan E. Hess, Charles L. Aarons, 
Benjamin J. Samuels, Doctor Haim I. Davis, Edward Sonnenschein, 

86 



ROMANCE IN HISTORY 

Hiram D. Frankel, Doctor Harry A. Kraus, Rabbi Eugene Mann- 
heimer, Henry Monsky, Gustavus Loevinger, Ben Samuels, Charles 
D. Oreckovsky, Sam J. Leon, Julius Kahn, Robert C. Lappen, 
Gottfried B. Bernstein and Leo Reitman. 

A few men have been honored with the title of honorary presi- 
dent: Morris M. Hirsch, A. B. Seelenfreund, Benjamin Braun, 
Solomon Levitan, Edward Lichtig, Ben S. Mayer and Arnold 
Wolff. 

XXVI 

ROMANCE IN HISTORY 

On January 5th, 1895, a captain of the French Army was public- 
ly degraded in the courtyard of the Ecole Militaire, in Paris, 
in the presence of five thousand soldiers and an army of news- 
paper men. Although the incident shook France to its founda- 
tions and kept it in a feverish state for five years, it would have 
resulted in nothing more than simply another "French Affair," with 
no special historic significance, had it not been for several circum- 
stances. The degraded and condemned captain was a Jew, Alfred 
Dreyfus by name. Dreyfus had protested his innocence, but the 
tumultuous political conditions of France demanded a scapegoat, 
a role in which the Jew is all too expert, and so the drums rolled 
out a thunderous beat to smother the voice that cried for justice. 
But the voice soared above the rolling of the drums and fell on 
ears which proved more sensitive than those of the five thousand 
soldiers gathered in the courtyard. Among the numerous reporters 
and foreign correspondents who pushed their way through to the 
courtyard of the Ecole Militaire, to witness the spectacle was the 
correspondent of the "Neue Freie Presse, ,, a prominent European 
newspaper, published in Vienna. This man was a Jew, but one 
upon whom Jewish consciousness had been forced more by the 
Anti-Semitism which he so often encountered than by a racial or 
national interest. His name was Theodor Herzl. He was deeply 
moved by the drama which culminated in tragedy for the poor 
Jewish captain who was condemned to life imprisonment on Devil's 

87 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Island. He saw the farcical trial and the unchallenged speed with 
which the judges proceeded to condemn him. Herzl also watched 
the subsequent events and became thoughtful at the readiness with 
which the world accepted his guilt, simply because he was a Jew. 
Most painful to Herzl was the attitude of his fellow Jews toward 
the whole affair. How little they realized that through Captain 
Alfred Dreyfus a blow was aimed at all the Jews of the world! 
Idealist and dreamer that he was, the helpless plight of his brethren 
set his brain afire. He decided he must do something at once to 
rouse the Jews from their lethargic indifference. He did not know 
of the existence of Doctor Leo Pinsker's "Auto-Emancipation," of 
George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda" nor even of "Rome and Jeru- 
salem" by Moses Hess. He set to work, and created the "Juden 
Staat" (The Jewish State) a pamphlet containing the theories of 
all three writers. He had it published in a small limited edition, 
and distributed it only among his intimate friends. Many of them 
openly ridiculed him, calling him dreamer and visionary. Those 
who were sympathetic to the idea and considered his theories sane 
and sound tried to discourage him, because of their genuine friend- 
ship for him. They saw in Herzl a man of great talent who was 
destined to rise high in the literary world. They were anxious to 
have nothing distract him from his course, nothing impede his 
flight upward. But Herzl, like Ferdinand Lassalle passionately 
exclaimed: "Ich Kann nicht mehr Zuriick, mich treibt der Geist!" 
(I can retreat no longer, I am driven by the Spirit.) Thus the 
Dreyfus affair and a few less dramatic incidents gave birth to the 
modern Zionist movement. 

The stirring events of the Dreyfus case, together with the new 
proclamation of a "Jewish State," a homeland in Palestine, did 
not fail to impress Chicago Jewry deeply. Strange as it may seem, 
the "New Hope" passed over New York and all the other eastern 
cities and made straight for Chicago. This was the first city in 
the western Hemisphere, to organize a Zion society. Under the 
banner of the "Herzl Dream," Bernard Horwich, Harris Hor- 
wich, Leon Zolotkoff and E. N. Zoline founded the first in Amer- 
ica, on the well defined plan of political Zionism. 

88 



ROMANCE IN HISTORY 

There is prevalent a general belief that Orthodox Jewry opened 
wide its arms to embrace Zionism and Reformed Jews opposed it. 
It is not difficult to trace the origin of that fallacy. Ever since 
Israel went into captivity he has waited for the coming of the 
Messiah which meant to him the return to the land of his fore- 
fathers. With the advent of Moses Mendelssohn and the school 
of Reform Judaism, the belief in a Messiah was abolished and the 
hope for a return to Palestine was abandoned. Every allusion to 
a future Zion was eliminated from the new prayer books introduced 
into the Reform Temples. Hence, it was reasonable to assume, 
that Zionism would appeal to Orthodox Jewry and would be 
strongly opposed by the Reform movement. As a matter of fact, 
this is what actually happened: Reformed Jewry did refuse to ac- 
cept the new Herzelian Decalogue for the reasons stated and also, 
because according to the Mendelssohnian idea Judaism is only a 
religion, with a mission to preach among the nations of the earth 
but with none of the elements that constitute a national body. 
Real Orthodoxy on the other hand, could certainly not subscribe 
to Zionism because Doctor Herzl did not speak in the name of 
God. He was modern and was not conversant with the holy tongue. 
He could perform no miracles and possessed none of the attributes 
with which Talmudic mystics endow the Messiah. In certain 
quarters Herzl was likened unto Sabatti Zevi, the false Messiah. 
Indeed those who first accepted Herzl and his plan for solving 
the Jewish problem, were neither Reform nor Orthodox, but were 
mostly rationalists, men of the type of Max Nordau, Israel Zangwill 
and the brothers Mormerock. 

In Chicago, it was Leon Zolotkoff who first responded to the 
call of Doctor Herzl. Bernard and Harris Horwich came next 
and with them came most of the Maskilim. 

A student of group-movements and mass-psychology, ZolotkofT 
observed the strong influence which fraternal societies exercised 
over the masses. He concluded therefore that to carry on an effec- 
tive propaganda in behalf of modern political Zionism, it would be 
well to organize the movement on the plan of a fraternal Order, 
with a ritual that would teach the ideals of Zionism with some 

89 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

secrecy and a pledge: "May my right hand forget her cunning, 
if I ever forget thee, Jerusalem!" Ps. 137. To permit no waste of 
time, while working out the details of such a body, Zolotkoff, and 
his followers formed a temporary organization in the mean time 
with Bernard Horwich, president and L. Zolotkoff, secretary. 

After the first congress at Basle, in August, 1897, a National Zion- 
ist organization was founded in Chicago, under the name "Order 
Knights of Zion." Of this too Bernard Horwich was elected presi- 
dent and Leon Zolotkoff, secretary, E. N. Zoline was chosen orator 
in English and Harris Horwich orator in Yiddish. Branches were 
soon started in many of the midwestern states. The Organization 
concentrated its first efforts on the Orthodox Synagogues, but 
found the barriers there almost insurmountable. On rare occasions, 
when a Synagogue could be obtained for a propaganda meeting, 
the pleas for Zion fell on deaf ears and very often the speakers 
were denounced as "Apikursim" and "Missionaries." 

It is true that a few of the prominent Rabbis, in both camps, 
declared themselves fully in accord with modern Zionism — Doctor 
Gustave Gottheil, of Temple Emanuel, New York, and Doctor 
Bernard Felsenthal, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Zion, Chicago, both 
of the Reform wing, and Rabbi Ashinsky, Rabbi Leventhal and 
Rabbi Abramowich, three of the most prominent Rabbis of Amer- 
ican Orthodoxy. But in both camps these pioneers were fought 
most bitterly by their colleagues. 

With the arrival of the Jewish National ideal, a new phenomenon 
appeared on the surface of Jewish life throughout the world: the 
recruits to the cause were mainly from among the ' young men 
and women. It was literally the "Children of the Ghetto" and 
not their fathers and mothers who were inspired by the message 
of the "Jewish State." 

XXVII 

INVASION OF FOREIGN TERRITORY 

Imperial nations build their Empires in the following manner: 
first they send the missionary with his Bible, then the army with 

90 



INVASION OF FOREIGN TERRITORY 

its guns and lastly goes whisky with its demoralization and de- 
pravity. Quite different was the method used by the children of 
Israel to build their Ghettoes: first they attacked the strong-hold 
of their objective and encamped thereon, next they set up a Taber- 
nacle. 

With the rapid increase of the Jewish population in this city, 
the Ghetto began perforce to spread. Its first expansion was west 
past Halsted street. Soon the Christian Churches on Maxwell street 
and its environs were metamorphosed into Jewish houses of wor- 
ship. The change was simple: down went the cross and up went 
the shield of David; out went the Pater Noster and in came the 
Ma Tovu. The change was simple, but where is the historian who 
will relate the story of the hardships that were endured in order 
to carry out the Mizvah of Tefilah B'zibur? 

In the middle seventies Jacob Friedman came to Chicago from 
Hungary and settled on the near north side. He engaged in the 
fur business and attained a considerable amount of success. Al- 
though a man of the world he was God-fearing and pious. He 
followed to the letter the commandment: "And thou shalt love 
thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and all thy might." 

When he found himself on the north side without nine other men 
of his faith in the immediate vicinity to make up a "Minyan," he 
sought out nine Jewish families from miles around and bade them 
come to his home for Friday night and Saturday morning — that 
they might pray in unison. After prayer he was their host at a 
table laden with choice viands and mellow wines to quiet their 
hunger and quench their thirst. For he was a kindly man and it 
gave him pleasure to surround his board with guests on the Sab- 
bath day; a custom which has prevailed throughout the centuries 
in every Jewish home. 

In the early nineties Friedman moved to the west side and soon 
busied himself in organizing a congregation. He was one of the 
founders of "Agudath Achim Anshe Hungary." The congregation 
purchased a church located on the corner of Maxwell street and 
Newberry avenue and converted it into a Synagogue. 

Once the Jews crossed Halsted street, the Rubicon between the 

91 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

old Ghetto and the outside world, there were no more barriers to 
stop them. In another decade they had invaded all the finest resi- 
dential parts of the west side. The Lawndale District, the neigh- 
borhood adjacent to Douglas Park, was inhabited by a non- Jewish 
population who might be called "die hard." They fought desper- 
ately but unsuccessfully against the invasion of a foreign element. 
A young, enterprising real estate operator, Sam Poliakoff, obtained 
control of most of the vacant property in the neighborhood, which 
was sparsely settled. He sold lots and built modern apartment 
houses. In a short time Douglas boulevard became the site of many 
Synagogues. A new conquest was made, a new invasion had taken 
place. 

The northwest side "Russian" community, which tried to trans- 
plant the culture of Charkow and Moscow into the United States, 
also belonged to the "die hard." At first this group organized a 
society under the name "Russky Druszestwo" (Russian Friends). 
It was its intention to be non-sectarian and they succeeded in ac- 
quiring two or three non-Jewish members, one of whom travelled 
under the title of "General." Soon, however, another more effective 
society came into being, composed of a younger element who recog- 
nized the inconsistency of clinging to the language and customs of 
a country which had driven them forth from its gates. And so these 
young men and women eagerly set themselves to learn American 
customs, to study the constitution of the United States and its his- 
tory. They formed a "Self Culture Club" and although most of 
them were working men and women, and wages were very low 
in those days, they rented quarters on North Wood street, south of 
Milwaukee avenue, and established club rooms. The club was con- 
ducted along lines similar to the "Self Educational Club." Bernard 
J. Brown, who has been practicing law in this city for the past thirty 
years, was the. leading spirit of the Self Culture Club. He was 
founder, president and general director. Miss Jennie March was 
the secretary. 

Among those who played an active role in the club were Fannie 
Schein, who is the present Mrs. B. J. Brown, Isador Horween and 
Rose Rabinoff, who is now his wife, Dr. Maurice J. Kaye and Mrs. 

92 



INVASION OF FOREIGN TERRITORY 

Kaye, who was then Anna Stein, Nathan Elson, Jacob Meislish, 
Max Rabinoff, Harry Horween, Fannie Netchen (Mrs. Harry Kara- 
sick), Tillie Horwich, Dr. Zan D. Klapper, Dr. William Lippman, 
Henry Silverberg, Charles Perlman, M. Rappeport and Dr. Max 
Salmonson. The enthusiasm of this immigrant group for educa- 
tion and culture was not dampened by the fact that they were too 
poor even to engage janitor service to care for their club rooms. 
When the windows needed washing or the floors scrubbing the 
feminine members were not too proud to undertake the task 
themselves. 

Lectures on various subjects were conducted weekly, and study 
circles, dealing mostly with Americanism, were led by men and 
women who were experts in their particular branch. The Jewish 
northwest side had religiously consecrated itself to culture, but 
sought for the most part to serve foreign gods. The culture for 
which Bernard J. Brown and his group stood was of a kind that 
was essentially necessary in those days: the Americanization of the 
Jewish-Russian "Intelligentsia." 

Of course, the term "Americanization" was the most abused and 
misunderstood word in the English language. To become Ameri- 
canized meant, to many of its advocates, to be thoroughly cleansed 
of every vestige of the culture which one might have imbibed in a 
different language, and to strip oneself of everything derived from 
another land, i.e., to speak no other language but English; to read 
no other literature but that of America and cherish no ideals but 
those that bore an American stamp. Bernard J. Brown was greatly 
imbued with that sort of an "Americanization." Not long after the 
Self Culture Club came into being, a new group made itself known 
in that part of the city. This group conceived the meaning of 
"Americanization" in its truer sense and gave it a different inter- 
pretation. To them "Americanization" was only a part of a general 
system of culture, and culture was an aggregate of the best ideals 
contributed by individuals as well as by groups. Every race and 
nationality gathered in the United States had brought some con- 
tribution to American culture. It followed therefore that in order 
to preserve a strong and healthy culture, no part of it could be 

93 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

abandoned or omitted. The greater the number of cultures fused 
together, the richer would be the one harmonious whole. 

The new group was led by Nicholas Pritzker, a lawyer by pro- 
fession and well known as a community worker. He came to the 
United States in 1880. His father's home was a place where the 
Hebraic and Hellenistic cultures met in perfect harmony. Nicholas 
knew little of religion, creed and dogma, but he retained all the 
finer concepts of Judaism; thus for him Americanization did not 
exclude the ideals which had molded his character nor the force 
which had built for him his inner and outer world, his Judaism. 
Together with three other men who have since played a prominent 
part in the Jewish community, he organized the "Northwest Side 
Kranken Unterstitzungs Verein," with no claim to idealism as a 
background. The original purpose of the "Verein" was social in- 
tercourse and mutual assistance; but it accomplished far more than 
it set out to do: it created and developed social leaders and com- 
munal workers and more than justified the time and labor that 
Nicholas Pritzker, Jacob Levy, Wolf Steif, and Louis Lefkowitz 
invested in it. 

XXVIII 

PATRIA MIA 

When a people has lost its independence, when its heroes have 
been taken captive, and its land laid waste, generations may come 
and go, centuries may pass, but the hope of regaining what it has 
lost never entirely fades. The yearning of the Jewish people for 
Palestine has no parallel in the history of mankind. After the last 
stand of their heroes under the leadership of Bar-Cochba, against 
the Roman legions, when every pulsation of a national life was 
silenced, every sign for a return was obliterated, and all hopes for 
Zion were abandoned, the spiritual leaders in Israel became alarmed, 
not alone for the loss of the Jewish national glory, but they had 
forebodings about the future of Israel. The loss of the homeland 
brought them to the realization that, scattered among the nations of 
the earth, Israel was bound eventually to forget God and the Torah, 

94 



? ATRIA MIA 

and, from their point of view, the loss of the Religion would be a 
greater calamity even than the loss of Palestine with all its glory 
and splendor. 

To prevent such a disaster and to safeguard the teachings of 
Moses, the great religious minds of the time united in an effort to 
arrest the threatened catastrophe, and finally evolved a plan to 
create a SPIRITUAL Zion. It was the contemplation of this ethe- 
real homeland that kept Judaism alive through many centuries of 
persecution and is alone responsible for its survival. With the 
passing of the centuries, the longing for a return to the land of 
their fathers increased, but it assumed more and more of a mystical 
nature. The return was no longer expected to be accomplished in 
a natural way, through conquest, but the redemption would come 
by a miracle. The Messiah was losing human aspect and was fast 
becoming divine. 

When countless generations in the diaspora passed into eternity 
and the Messiah still failed to appear, the hopes of the Jew went 
beyond the grave. In the words of the poet Schiller: 

"Denn beschliesst er im Grabe den mueden Lauf, 
Noch am Grabe pflanzt er — die Hoffnung auf." 

It was said that the Paradise which the human being hopes to 
enter in the hereafter is built of all his unfulfilled desires. It is 
difficult to distinguish between the Jewish conception of his "Gan 
Eden" and his vision of the arrival of the Messiah. 

The "Juden Staat" of Doctor Herzl acted as a charm to remove 
the spell and arouse the mystic dreamers to reality; to remove the 
veil which had obscured their imagination, to rid their minds of 
superstition and restore to them the courage of Bar-Cochba and 
the spirit of the Maccabeans. 

Did Herzl accomplish what he set out to do? The student of 
Jewish History is bound to admit that whether Zionism, as dreamed 
by Herzl in the "Juden Staat" or in "Alt Neu-land," will ever be- 
come a reality is of no consequence. He brought to Israel freedom 
in the diaspora. He endowed them with a new strength and vigor, 

95 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

with new hopes and aspirations. He caused the dry bones, which 
the prophet beheld in his vision, to assume new flesh which began 
to quiver with new life. The message of Doctor Herzl wrought a 
great change in the spiritual life of the Jews wherever they dwelt. 
The erstwhile shaggy monster became a prince again. No longer 
cringing and singing the "Ma Yofith," no longer the ugly beast 
whom everybody hated and feared. Zionism straightened his back 
and restored his pride. 

The new idea as presented in the "Juden Staat" penetrated every 
corner of the earth, wherever Israel had found a refuge; and it 
inspired them with a new vitality. They commenced to participate 
in all movements that led to the betterment of humanity and they 
became leaders in matters concerning their own well being. They 
ceased to depend upon miracles and no longer waited for a salva- 
tion that would come from without. They now realised that what- 
ever the salvation was to be, it rested in their own hands. 

Since the lot of the Jews from Eastern Europe had been the 
hardest, under the despotism and cruelty of their inhuman masters, 
they were the first to realise what the message held for them; there- 
fore, they were the first who rallied around the banner raised by 
Doctor Herzl. Organizations were formed in every Ghetto; or- 
ganizations of men and women, of old and young. All were moved 
by the same thought, the same spirit: to destroy the chains of 
slavery and make the Jew a free man again, who could live his life 
in freedom and in peace, in his own homeland, on his own soil. 

Although Zionism first attracted the non-religious element in 
Jewry, its advent caused a return to Judaism. First, it brought about 
the renaissance of the Hebrew language; it next stimulated a desire 
among all classes of Jews to acquaint themselves with the history of 
their people; and lastly, the historic holidays in the Jewish calendar 
took on a new sacredness. Many old and young who had long 
parted from the ways of their fathers returned and a new spiritu- 
ality entered their souls. 

In Chicago, Zionism faced the strongest opposition from no less 
a person than the Rabbi of Sinai Temple, Doctor Emil G. Hirsch. 
Nevertheless, it made great progress, for under the leadership of 

96 



THE NEW SPIRIT 

Leon Zolotkoff and Bernard Horwich, assisted by a multitude of 
enthusiastic young persons, an effective propaganda was carried on 
throughout the mid-western states and the organization grew in 
numbers as well as in fervor. Every city in this section, small or 
large, had one or more societies, doing active work in the cause of 
Zionism. Before long, the immigrant Jews of America recognized 
that modern Zionism was the mainstay of Judaism, without which 
it was bound to perish. It is true, the opposition of Doctor Hirsch 
impeded its progress, at least in Chicago and its environs, but 
Doctor Hirsch was honest in his convictions and, while he was 
opposed in principle to a Jewish State in Palestine, he saw in the 
movement a great force; a revival of the moral, spiritual and re- 
ligious phases of Judaism; a revival which had not been seen for 
centuries and which neither the Temple nor the Synagogue could 
ever hope to accomplish. This revival, this stirring of the Jewish 
soul and especially the great enthusiasm displayed by Jewish Youth, 
could not but reconcile him — if not to the idea of Zionism — at least 
to the rebirth of Jewish ideals. Not infrequently, Doctor Hirsch 
even showed himself sympathetic to Zionism. On several occasions 
he addressed large Zionist gatherings and participated in special 
functions arranged by Zionists. Once I said to him: "Doctor, in 
spite of your outward bitter antagonism to Zionism, I believe that 
in your heart of hearts you are a Zionist." He smiled and replied: 
"I am not opposed to Zionism, but to some of the Zionists." It is 
my firm conviction that this was one of the occasions when "the 
truth was told in a jest." 

XXIX 

THE NEW SPIRIT 

Zionist societies sprang up in almost every city in Illinois, Wiscon- 
sin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, North and 
South Dakota. These societies were affiliated with the Knights of 
Zion and were designated as "Gates." Each Gate paid dues to the 
parent organization in Chicago. The small income thus derived 
went to maintain a modest office and a small staff to attend to the 

97 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

office business. All other work, including the spreading of propa- 
ganda, was performed by volunteers. 

Chicago had a large number of societies, and at one time all 
Orthodox congregations were units of the Order Knights of Zion. 
The two outstanding "Gates" in the area of Chicago which left an 
imprint on Jewish culture which will not be obliterated for many 
decades to come were the K'dimoh Gate and the Clara de Hirsch 
Gate. The former was composed of young men brought to the 
United States in early childhood and thus recipients of the benefits 
of an American Public School education. The leaders of the Gate 
were Nathan D. Kaplan, Max Schulman, Dr. Robert L. Halperin, 
Nathan Sloan, B. S. Sloan, B. Plat, Hyman L. Meites, Samuel Gins- 
berg, Louis Ginsberg, Charles Ginsberg, Paul Braude, Dr. George 
Rosenzweig, Dr. B. E. Wolpert, Jacob Katzoff and Julius Katzofr". 
The first president of the K'dimoh Gate was Louis Herzfield. 

The "Clara de Hirsch Gate" was composed of young women, 
who, like the members of the "K'dimoh Gate," were brought up and 
educated in this country and instilled with idealism. Esther Wein- 
shenker, who became Mrs. Isidor Natkin, was its organizer and 
guiding figure, assisted by a corps of ardent Zionists which in- 
cluded Jennie Liebsohn, now Mrs. Max Schulman, Bertha Jerusa- 
limsky, who became Mrs. Harry Berkman, Miss Ida Roscoe, Miss 
Amilia Jerusalimsky, Miss Anna Liebsohn, Miss Sarah R. Bregstone 
and Miss Gertrude M. Bregstone. The two Gates pursued the same 
ideal, strove to attain the same goal, a Jewish homeland; but both 
had one other aim in common, to spread Jewish culture among the 
children of the immigrants. They engaged club rooms on Johnson 
street, north of Twelfth street, established a library of English books, 
mostly dealing with Jews and Judaism, and instituted lecture 
courses so that wisdom and knowledge might be disseminated 
throughout the Jewish settlement. That there was need for such 
activities was evidenced by the large audiences and over-crowded 
meetings. These meetings formed the nucleus of the Jewish Peo- 
ple's Institute, one of the largest social settlements, both in space 
and in importance, in the city. 

Another Gate of importance, during that epoch, was the "Volun- 

98 



THE NEW SPIRIT 

teers of Zion," composed of young men with military propensities, 
under the leadership of Maj. Davidson, Captain Herman Waiss, 
Captain I. Harris and later Dr. Gustav Blech, all military trained 
men. It procured headquarters, adequately provided with all neces- 
sary equipment for military drilling, and there entrenched itself to 
study the science of warfare. 

When war was declared by the United States against Spain, the 
Jews in this country were instantly aroused. Participation in the 
war would give them an opportunity to prove their loyalty to the 
country which had given them a home and a place of refuge. They 
would take part in a war to help two oppressed nations, Cuba and 
Porto Rico, gain liberty and independence against the yoke of 
Spain. But back of these two obvious reasons there was a third one, 
namely, a secret desire to avenge the thousands of Jewish martyrs 
who perished during the days of the Inquisition. These three rea- 
sons were sufficient to stir the heart of every Jew who was able to 
bear arms to a pitch where he was willing to give his life for his 
beloved United States and against his old foe, Spain. Three violent 
passions were now at work in the heart of the American Jew: 
patriotism, love of liberty and revenge. He answered the call to 
arms with a wholehearted spontaneity. The local recruiting stations 
were filled with Jewish lads who came to enlist in the war against 
Spain. 

The war spirit seized Chicago and, like everywhere else in the 
country, Jewish lads were among the first to go to the recruiting 
stations. The children of immigrants, and many immigrants them- 
selves, were impatient to pay their debt of gratitude, with their 
heart's blood if necessary. But the call issued by President McKinley 
was for 125,000 men only and, therefore, a very small percentage 
was chosen from the hordes who volunteered. Those who were 
favored by the god of war and were sent to the scene of action 
considered themselves fortunate. 

I pause here for a moment to reflect on the great change that has 
been wrought in the soul of the Jew in so short a time. The con- 
trast is amazing. In the land of the Czars he made every effort to 
escape military service; in the new land he freely offered his very 

99 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

life in return for the privileges he received. The peace loving 
dweller of the ghetto was eager to become a soldier, to share in the 
victory which he knew would be ours. 

As the number of men required was small, admission to the army 
or navy was almost impossible. Many of our youths were so des- 
perate that they joined the standing, under the usual contract 
of three years' service. The "Volunteers of Zion" exerted every 
possible effort and pulled all sorts of wires, but were unable to gain 
admission in either service. A certain Col. Koch, a retired officer 
of the United States Army, set out to organize a regiment of volun- 
teers. It was said that he was well connected politically, and was 
highly regarded in military circles, so perhaps his regiment would 
be accepted by Uncle Sam. The regiment was largely composed of 
Jews. The Volunteers of Zion made application to Col. Koch to be 
entered as a unit. However, Col. Koch's regiment did not see 
service in the Spanish-American war: it disbanded and many of its 
members sought to enter the war through some other means. 

With the dissolution of the Koch's Regiment the hopes of the 
Volunteers of Zion vanished. The most disappointed ones were the 
three commissioned officers, Major Davidson, Captain Waiss and 
Captain Harris, who were devoted to the cause of Zionism and had 
seen an excellent opportunity for effective propaganda through the 
rendition of service to their country. Dr. Gustav Blech succeeded 
in being sent to the front in his professional capacity as a physician. 

It is impossible to ascertain the exact number of soldiers Chicago 
Jews contributed to the war since the published statements vary 
greatly; and important names are missing from the roster of heroes. 
The lists are incomplete and we shall probably never be able to 
compute the share that the Jews of Chicago played in the Spanish- 
American War. 



100 



PART TWO 



I 

REVOLT OF THE IMMIGRANT 

TWILIGHT. The nineteenth century is breathing its last, 
gasping out its weary end as it is about to sink into oblivion, 
to join the countless centuries that have preceded it. The 
twentieth century waits on the threshold, ready to be ushered in as 
soon as the old one exhales its last breath. A harassed humanity, 
sick and tired of all the turbulent events imposed upon it by the 
departing century, is waiting impatiently for the new one to arrive, 
anticipating the happier things it holds in store. 

The two intervening decades, between the beginning of the east 
European influx and the close of the century, gave the immigrants 
ample opportunity to adjust themselves to their new environment. 
The process was expeditious and their accomplishments were in- 
credible; not alone in material advancement, but in education and 
culture as well. The Jew from Western Europe upon reaching these 
shores assigned himself first to the acquisition of wealth and next 
to the pursuit of culture and education. The east European immi- 
grant reversed the process for a reason wholly obvious. He had 
been denied in his native land opportunities for education, in spite 
of his great thirst for it. When he came to the United States and 
found the fountain of knowledge accessible to all, he rushed to it 
with eager avidity. His brethren from the Germanic countries had 
shared in the general culture of their birthplace and consequently 
were not so starved for education. Their first concern, therefore, 
was with their economic condition. By the end of the century the 
immigrants of the early eighties were emancipated economically 
and spiritually. They now endeavored to free themselves from the 
stigma of "receiving charity. ,, 

101 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

On an evening late in the fall of 1899 a meeting was held in 
Porges' hall, located on the corner of Jefferson and Maxwell streets. 
In the hand bills that announced the event bold type proclaimed 
that "a matter of great importance will be discussed by prominent 
speakers." That evening I happened to be in the neighborhood of 
the meeting and so I availed myself of the opportunity to learn 
what the "matter of importance" was and to listen to the "promi- 
nent speakers." I climbed three flights of stairs and entered a 
crowded hall filled with smoke. There were present as many 
women as men, but the latter puffed ungallantly at their cigarettes. 
Straining my eyes to peer through the dense, smoky atmosphere, I 
beheld at the far end of the room the slender figure of a man in 
his early forties, with a small pointed beard and gold-rimmed 
glasses on his rather prominent nose. He was neatly attired and 
his appearance made a favorable impression as he stood on the 
small rostrum beside a little table. It was evident that the man was 
functioning in a dual capacity: as presiding officer of the meeting 
as well as one of the "prominent speakers." I recognized him as 
Harris Cohn, an amiable and well-liked gentleman, whom we, his 
younger friends, were in the habit of addressing as "Colonel." 
He spoke in Yiddish and the first words that fell on my ears were 
as follows: "Friends, it is time that we break our shackles and free 
ourselves from the bondage in which we are held. The time has 
come when we must begin to fight for the honor of our fathers 
and mothers as well as our own. We must remove the stigma which 
our brothers place on us when they call us 'Shnorrers.' The only 
way we can accomplish that is by uniting to care for our own poor, 
so that they shall no longer be the recipients of alms and charity 
from our wealthy 'brothers,' the Reform Jews, who give us bread 
which poisons our souls. . . ." 

Harris Cohn finished and introduced the next speaker, H. M. 
Barnctt. 

H. M. Barnett trod the humbler walks of life and never cared 
enough about earthly possessions to take the trouble to amass them. 
He laid no claims to an education, although he had a fair knowl- 
edge of Hebrew lore and could read and write English. His entire 

102 



REVOLT OF THE IMMIGRANT 

life was consecrated to the weal of the Jewish community. No Jew- 
ish cause was promoted without him; no Synagogue was dedicated 
in this city without his presence; no institution was organized 
unless H. M. Barnett was in it. He died about four years ago, after 
having lived in Chicago for over forty years. He was an able 
Yiddish speaker, and knew how to arouse the feelings of his 
audience and stir their sympathies. He mounted the platform and 
he, too, spoke in Yiddish. He began with a quotation from the 
Selichoth: "'Cast us not aside when we become old. When our 
strength is exhausted, forsake us not!' " He then made a strong 
plea in behalf of an old people's home. 

The speeches called forth a burst of approval from the audience 
and at this meeting the foundation was laid for the Beth Moshav 
Z'keinim. The following directors were named: Harris Cohen, 
Jacob Kanter, Pesach Davis, Azriel Wolpe, Sam Steiner, Hyman S. 
Wolf, Jacob Berkson, Max I. Goodman, Sol Simon, Jacob Cohn, 
S. Arkin, Joseph Philipson, David Shapiro, R. Sweatow and Doctor 
Joshuha Ginsburg. At a subsequent meeting officers in the new or- 
ganization were elected for the ensuing year. Harris Cohn became 
president, Jacob Berkson, vice president, Joseph Philipson, treas- 
urer, William Cohn, recording secretary, and S. E. Newberger, 
financial secretary. In June, 1900, over one hundred feet of ground 
was purchased on Albany avenue, south of Ogden avenue, and the 
site was dedicated early in the fall of the same year. 

It is difficult to define the particular joy, the quickened beating 
of the heart, the proud raising of the head which came with the 
realization of a cherished hope. It could not have been the religious 
aspect of the Kosher home which caused it. Was it the joy of hav- 
ing cleansed ourselves from the stigma of "schnorrers" ? It may 
have been that, but there was something more. It was the marking 
of an epoch in the life of the East European immigrant that his 
limbs had grown strong enough so that he no longer needed the 
support of others. He could stand alone, work alone and care for 
his own poor and needy. 

The great climax came with the opening of the first bazaar in 
Medinah Temple, in the fall of 1900. It is to be regretted that in 

103 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the "B. M. Z. Annals," a booklet issued on the occasion of the cele- 
bration of the twentieth birthday of the home, the bazaar is barely 
mentioned. For one tracing historic data of Jewish culture in Chi- 
cago, the bazaar of thirty years ago stands out prominently. For 
the first time in the history of Chicago Jewry the "West Side" 
turned out to be looked over and inspected. The whole thing was 
conducted with a simple dignity and the manners of the sons and 
daughters of the ghetto were impeccable to the most critical eye. 
The affair attracted wide attention and during the ten days of its 
progress not a few socially elite came to see the bazaar and the 
participants in the new "revolt." These "rebels" are an interesting 
group. There is Harris Cohn, the leader, with his retinue and aide 
de camp. First in command is Louis Ziv, chairman of the bazaar, 
and his assistants, Jacob Berkson and Joseph Philipson, who are 
everywhere at once, helping wherever they can. Nathan D. Kaplan, 
Doctor Kate Levy and P. D. Pollack are in evidence seeking news 
items for the "Bazaar News," of which they are the publishers, 
managers and editors. Miss Fay Sachs, who is to become Mrs. Her- 
man Reiwitch, reigns supreme over the gypsy booth where she 
reads the future from the palms of young feminine hands and from 
the deeply marked lines of masculine hands. 

The bazaar accomplished many things. Besides giving the outer 
world an opportunity to see what apt pupils we were, how quickly 
we acquired the polish and manners of the new country; besides the 
eleven thousand dollars net profit it yielded, it stimulated a deeper 
feeling and better understanding among the different groups of the 
immigrant Jews who brought with them their prejudices from the 
old country. Auxiliaries were started in every part of the city to 
help promote the "Beth Moshav Z'keinim." New strength and 
greater confidence was added to the project of building and main- 
taining the home for the aged when the little group of pioneers 
attracted to the project a number of well-known business and pro- 
fessional men and prominent women, such as Abraham Margolis, 
Barnett Faroll, Paul N. Lackritz, Mrs. Samuel Davis, Dr. M. L. 
Aren, George S. Pines, Israel Cowen, Maurice Burr, Isidor Segal, 
S. B. Komaiko, N. Baumgarten, Isidor Lasker, Mrs. Benjamin 

104 



REVOLT OF THE IMMIGRANT 

Davis, A. }. Harris, Harry Grossfield, August Turner, Mrs. Julius 
Stone, Mrs. Joshuah Ginsburg, Rabbi Jacob Turner, Dr. V. L. 
Schrager and Herman Molner. In the women's auxiliaries Mrs. S. 
Goldman, Mrs. E. H. Simon, Mrs. Morris Tower, Mrs. Ezra Cohn, 
Mrs. Julius Feldstein and Mrs. Kal Kalish played prominent parts. 

Abraham Slimmer, of Dubuque, Iowa, contributed twenty thou- 
sand dollars to the building fund and the dream of an old people's 
home began to assume the outlines of reality. 

The name "Slimmer" causes me to pause here to relate an inci- 
dent about one of the most remarkable men I ever met. Although 
he never lived in Chicago he was so closely allied with the philan- 
thropic institutions of this city that he may almost be regarded as a 
Chicagoan. I had often heard and read about the "lonely man" of 
Dubuque, but I did not meet him until I was sent to Dubuque 
during the World War to prevail upon Slimmer to make a sub- 
stantial offering for the war sufferers of Eastern Europe. I was also 
to make a similar appeal to the Jewish community of that city. A 
committee called upon me at my hotel and undertook to show me 
the town. As we entered their automobile one of the committee 
exclaimed: "There is Mr. Slimmer!" I looked in the direction he 
indicated and saw an old man walking at a gait rather brisk for a 
person of his age. We crossed the street to overtake him and I had 
time to note his appearance. His attire was old and shabby; it was 
impossible to discern the original color of his coat now rusty with 
age. His trousers must have been a brown corduroy in their for- 
gotten prime, but they, too, had assumed that indiscriminate shade 
that comes from long wear. His hat, a Buffalo Bill sombrero, was 
out of style, out of shape and faded out of color. 

A trumpet-like device hanging around his neck revealed to me 
what I did not know before, that he was deaf. On being greeted by 
us, he immediately seized the little trumpet and adjusted it to his 
ear. I was introduced to him and he addressed himself to me, say- 
ing, "I should like to have you as my guest, but you would not 
enjoy my mode of living. Do me the honor of taking at my expense 
the best room at the hotel. Avail yourself of all the comforts the 
place affords and charge it to me." I told him that I had a message 

105 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

for him. His first inclination was to go with me to the hotel to 
transact our business, but he soon changed his mind and invited 
me to come instead to his home. I shall spare my readers a descrip- 
tion of that "home," as well as an account of the difficult task I had 
conversing with him for hours through the medium of the trumpet. 
Suffice it to say that the house was the worst hovel that I ever en- 
tered. During my one day's sojourn in that city I called on him 
three times at his urgent request. Each visit lasted not less than 
two hours. Of course, my purpose in these calls was to fulfill my 
mission to the best of my ability and get as large a sum as possible. 
His first offer was three thousand dollars; I had asked for fifteen 
thousand. He told me that he had met Judge Julian W. Mack, who 
spoke to him on the same subject, and later Mr. Morgenthau, whom 
he met in St. Louis. They both tried to "work him" for a larger 
sum, but this was the amount he decided upon and he would give 
no more. In the course of our conversation he said : "They consider 
me a multi-millionaire; they overestimate my wealth. The truth is, 
my income is fifty thousand dollars annually. It takes me fifteen 
hundred dollars a year to live on and the balance I distribute among 
philanthropic organizations." Before I left him he promised to send 
twelve thousand dollars to the committee in New York. On my 
return, a letter from Mr. Morgenthau, expressing his appreciation 
for my successful efforts, was sufficient evidence that my endeavors 
were not in vain. 

II 

NEW ASPIRATIONS 

With the birth of the new century, the older immigrants gradually 
forgot the dark and fearful days they had lived through in another 
country and began to think of America as their homeland. They 
now sought to take part in all things concerning the welfare of 
this country. A strong desire awakened in them to become Ameri- 
can citizens; to participate in the political life of the nation and be 
directly represented in the legislative, executive and judicial depart- 
ments of the government. 

106 



NEW ASPIRATIONS 

Up to that time very few Jews had taken part in practical politics, 
in Chicago, and of those few William Loeffler was one of the most 
prominent. He was active in Democratic circles, not as a Jew, but 
as a representative of the Bohemian element. The seventh ward, 
where the first west side Ghetto was established, was bisected by 
railroad tracks; the north side of the tracks was thickly settled by 
Jews and the south side was occupied by Bohemians. William 
Loeffler lived south of the tracks. Coming from Bohemia, he lived 
among the Bohemians, associated with them and finally married a 
Bohemian girl. He entered politics and was elected Alderman of 
the ward. The Jews contributed very little to his political career, 
as most of them were not even naturalized. With the new turn of 
things, when the Jews rapidly sought citizenship and exercised their 
right of the ballot, William Loeffler, by reason of being a Bohemian 
and a Jew, also by virtue of his long experience in politics, became 
the leader of his ward and eventually a leader of his party. 

Conditions in the eighth ward, which was immediately west of 
the seventh, were exactly like those in the neighboring ward. The 
north side of the ward, which had previously been inhabited by 
members of the Celtic race, was fast becoming a Jewish settlement. 
The south side was populated by Bohemians. Adolph J. Sabath, a 
Jew born in Bohemia, was the representative of William Loeffler in 
the ward and had a similar advantage over those who in the course 
of more than three decades attempted to contest his leadership: he 
had the combined support of the Jews and Bohemians. When a 
Jew anywhere in the city sought political favor, he had to have the 
sanction of these two, without which he could accomplish nothing. 

Early in the summer of 1900, the Democratic leaders of Illinois 
convened to nominate candidates for Governor and other state offi- 
cials. The old strife between Cook County and "Down State" again 
asserted itself. The Cook County delegates came to the convention 
with their candidates for Governor, while those from "Down State" 
were as determined to nominate a candidate of their own. It was 
anticipated that the meeting would be the scene of a lively combat 
between the two factions. The convention was called to order and 
after a few preliminaries a "Down Stater" arose and delivered an 

107 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

eloquent speech, eulogizing the virtues of his candidate, but care- 
fully withholding his identity until the very last words of his speech. 
Excitement converted the Convention hall into a bedlam when the 
speaker finally pronounced the name of Samuel Alschuler of Au- 
rora. Other speakers mentioned other names for the high honor 
of Chief Executive of the State. The great climax was reached 
when the balloting was over and the chairman announced the result 
of the vote, which gave Alschuler the nomination for the coveted 
office by an overwhelming majority. 

To the citizens of this great commonwealth the candidate was 
little known, except to those who were more or less interested in 
the proceedings of the state legislature in Springfield. They knew 
him as a member of the lower house, where he represented the 
Aurora district. He was finishing his second term and was the floor 
leader of the Democratic wing. The press regarded him as very 
capable and honorable and often commented editorially upon his 
loyalty to the people. He was never identified with any Jewish 
affairs and for some time after his nomination the question as to 
whether he really was a Jew was widely discussed by the Jews of 
the state. However, in the very beginning of the campaign, Samuel 
Alschuler removed all doubt from the minds of the voters by pro- 
claiming his race and descent. 

Richard Yates, the son of a war Governor of this State, was the 
nominee of the Republican party. The contestants were about 
evenly matched in brilliance and cleverness, and interest in the out- 
come of the campaign ran high. As in all contests of this kind, 
this one was not without the usual bitterness and "mud slinging," 
but was not engaged in by the principal combatants. For some 
unknown reason, a certain dignity surrounded this campaign. I 
well remember one of the pleasant incidents which helped to en- 
liven the campaign: Late in the summer of that year, the City 
Press Bureau chartered a passenger steamer which they styled "The 
Ship of Truce" and arranged an excursion on Lake Michigan for 
afternoon and evening. All the candidates for county and state 
offices, of every party, were invited to make the five-hour voyage. 
They all came with their families and friends, and the boat was 

108 



NEW ASPIRATIONS 

quite crowded. When the wings of night spread their darkness 
across the water, the venerable Judge Bradwell constituted himself 
as toastmaster over a foodless and drinkless table and called upon 
the various candidates for brief talks. Before calling on the first 
speaker, he jokingly observed: "Just think what would happen to 
the great State of Illinois if this vessel were to sink to the bottom 
of the lake. It would be bereft of Governor, Treasurer, Secretary 
and Attorney General; and Cook County would be left without a 
Sheriff and a State's Attorney." Richard Yates rose to speak; he 
continued in the same fantastic vein and said : "I, too, have thought 
of the great calamity that would befall our great State if this vessel 
should sink; but, being as I am a man of action, I did not abandon 
myself to mere speculation. When the thought occurred to me, I 
made my way at once to the Captain and inquired what precaution 
he had taken in the event of such a catastrophe. He replied : 'None. 
In case of such an emergency, I should be compelled to throw a 
few hundred people overboard.' I was greatly distressed and tenta- 
tively broached the question: 'Er . . . how would you be governed 
in your choice?' And, gentlemen and also my worthy opponent" — 
bowing to Mr. Alschuler — "you can not imagine my relief when he 
announced 'I would take them in alphabetical order.' ,! 

Samuel Alschuler was defeated, but by his conduct during the 
campaign he won the admiration of every fair-minded citizen in the 
State. He ran far ahead of his ticket and never before in the politi- 
cal history of the United States was a defeated candidate so highly 
regarded by all classes of men as was Samuel Alschuler. 

Samuel Alschuler was born in Chicago, November 20, 1859. He 
first saw the light on the spot where Marshall Field's wholesale 
house has stood for more than forty years but which is now in the 
process of destruction. He is the son of Jacob and Caroline Alschu- 
ler. When he was two years old his parents moved to Aurora, a 
town forty miles southwest of Chicago. With his sister Clara and 
his brothers George and Ben, he attended elementary and high 
school in that city. Later he read law and was admitted to the bar; 
he established a lucrative law practice in Aurora. In 1893 Governor 
John P. Altgeld appointed him a member of the Board of Claims; 

109 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

he was succeeded in that office by his brother Ben. In 1896, he was 
elected to represent his district in the State Legislature and was re- 
elected in 1898. Again he was succeeded by his brother Ben. After 
his defeat for Governor he came to Chicago to join the law firm 
of Kraus and Holdem and he established his home here. 

In 1915, Samuel Alschuler was appointed by President Woodrow 
Wilson a Judge of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals in 
the seventh district. This district comprises the States of Illinois, 
Wisconsin and Indiana. Two years later additional honors were 
conferred on him; he was named Administrator for the packing 
industry. Among the many duties this office involved was the 
arbitration of all wage disputes and supervision of labor conditions. 
These were in addition to his judicial duties and became an ex- 
tremely ponderous load for one man to carry, but as the additional 
task was a war measure, Judge Alschuler shouldered his burden 
without complaint and assumed the obligation to serve his country. 
The handling and adjusting of labor problems is at best a thankless 
task, because it is impossible to please both sides in such a contro- 
versy. Judge Alschuler's even temper, his fairness and passion for 
social justice, his penetrating mind gained him the respect of all 
persons with whom he had occasion to deal in his capacity as 
arbiter during the four years he served in that position. 

In 1922, President Harding appointed him a member of the Fed- 
eral Coal Commission. His plea that his judicial duties did not 
allow him the time that the new office required went unheeded. 
The President insisted that because of the importance of the Com- 
mission he must have a man of Judge Alschuler's type. He finally 
accepted, but resigned four months later, after his marriage to Miss 
Ella Kahn, a capable social worker and a brilliant leader in wom- 
en's club activities. 

It is refreshing to hear this great man and renowned Judge speak 
of the three women who constitute his entire universe. Caroline, 
his ninety-two year old mother, is the central figure in his life. 
Every Sunday, for the past thirty years, he has travelled to Aurora 
to pay homage to the mother whom he adores. It is amazing to see 
this man, who knows every phase of life and whose experience as 

110 



LAND OF OPPORTUNITY 

a lawyer and as a judge should have robbed him of all sentiment, 
become a child again when he talks of his mother. Clara, his sister, 
inspires him with love and admiration for the sacrifices she laid 
on the altar of filial love. She has allowed the destiny that belongs 
to womanhood to pass her by that she might give all of her time 
to the care of her mother. When he speaks of his wife he is too 
modest to express his deep love for her. All he says is: "She has 
filled my life with joy and happiness," but his eyes give expression 
to a love sonnet. 

Ill 

LAND OF OPPORTUNITY 

On the occasion of Joseph Sabath's inauguration as Judge of the 
Municipal Court of Chicago, in 1910, Judge Julian W. Mack deliv- 
ered the oration in a crowded courtroom, in the presence of the 
many relatives and friends of the new Judge. He chose for his 
subject "The Land of Opportunity." No subject could have been 
more appropriate to the occasion. The life story of the two Sabath 
brothers, Congressman Adolph J. and Judge Joseph, although ro- 
mantic in character, is not unusual in this country, where such 
meteoric careers are so numerous that they no longer astonish one. 
Congressman Adolph J. Sabath rose in traditional manner from 
poverty and obscurity to a position in the public eye where for more 
than a quarter of a century he has rendered service particularly to 
the foreign-born. 

In the early eighties of the past century, there lived in a village in 
Bohemia Joachim and Barbara Sabath, with their six sons and five 
daughters, the oldest of whom was seventeen years old. Very often 
there was not enough food to satisfy the eleven hungry little 
mouths. The oldest son of the family was bright and intelligent. 
He realized the great hardship his father and mother had to bear 
and he resolved to go out into the world and earn enough money 
to lighten their burden. He went to a large city in Bohemia, but 
the opportunity he sought was not there. He returned to his father's 
home, but later in the same year the seventeen year old Adolph, 

ill 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

together with his younger brother Jacob, left the land of his birth 
to come to Chicago. He wasted no time, but tried his hand at all 
sorts of odd jobs in an effort to eke out a livelihood. He finally got 
a job selling shoes on Halsted street near 18th street. He worked 
diligently, lived economically and saved enough money after a year 
to send for a sister and his brother Joseph. In 1886 he was able to 
send for his brothers Morris and Gus, and in '88 his father, mother 
and the rest of the family came to America. 

Although a mere youth, Adolph, instead of waiting for opportu- 
nity to knock at his door, created opportunity for himself. While 
working arduously during the daytime he spent his evenings in 
hard study, at first to acquire the knowledge of the English lan- 
guage and next to master the intricacies of the principles of juris- 
prudence. In 1891, Adolph J. Sabath was admitted to the bar and 
less than three years later Governor Altgeld appointed him a justice 
of the peace. In 1897, when Carter H. Harrison Jr. was elected 
Mayor of Chicago, he appointed Adolph J. Sabath a police magis- 
trate and assigned him to the Maxwell street police court. In the 
four years that followed, the entire personnell of that judicial 
tribunal was exclusively Jewish: Adolph J. Sabath was Judge, 
Emanuel Abrahams clerk, Morris Lawrence bailiff and I was the 
city prosecutor. The situation was an interesting one and strangely 
reminiscent of a tribunal in ancient Palestine. Under the circum- 
stance many strange dramas were enacted in that court. On one 
occasion, a Jewish woman was arrested, charged with a serious 
crime; she engaged a Jewish lawyer to defend her. He called for a 
jury trial and the case was continued, as was customary in such 
trials, to the following Saturday morning. Many of the people in 
the neighborhood, mostly Jews, were in the habit of congregating 
in the courtroom on Saturdays, to listen to the proceedings. The 
bailiff selected a jury from among the spectators ; the required num- 
ber was accepted and they were all Jews. The defendant was found 
guilty and was sentenced to serve six months in the House of 
Correction. A few days later an application was made on her behalf 
to the Mayor for a pardon. After a careful examination of the 
records, the Mayor exclaimed: "The defendant, her attorney, the 

112 



LAND OF OPPORTUNITY 

entire personnel of the court and every member of the jury are all 
Jews, but you come to me, a Gentile, to ask me to interfere with the 
verdict. I refuse to act the Shabbath Goy, let the verdict stand!" 

In 1904, Adolph J. Sabath was nominated for Recorder of Deeds 
of Cook County, by the Democratic party. Abel Davis, who re- 
turned from the Spanish-American War with the rank of First 
Lieutenant, was nominated for the same office by the Republicans. 
Regardless of the outcome of the election, Cook County was des- 
tined to have a Jew for Recorder. The Jewish voters, freed from 
the dilemma of having to choose between a Jewish and non-Jewish 
candidate, cast their support in favor of the nominee of the Repub- 
lican party, which seems to have been the political faith of most of 
the Jewish immigrants in those days, and Sabath was defeated. 

Two years later, when the Justice of the Peace System of Chicago 
was abolished and the Municipal Court established in its stead by 
an act of the legislature, Sabath was nominated by the city conven- 
tion for one of the Judges of the new court. A few days later his 
congressional district nominated him for Congress. He could not 
run for both offices, and had to choose between the two. The con- 
gressional district was nominally democratic and the chances of 
being elected were greatly in his favor, while the outcome of a city 
election at that period was extremely uncertain. He decided, after 
due consideration, to decline the judicial nomination and seek con- 
gressional honors. He was not only elected, but re-elected again 
and again and is now completing his twelfth term. Nominally he 
represents only the fifth district of Illinois, but actually he is the 
Congressman for all the foreign-born elements in the United States 
and has been particularly zealous in working for the interests of 
the people of his own race. Because of his sincerity and ability he 
has gained recognition as a specialist in certain legislative measures. 
He is expert in all kinds of legislation pertaining to immigration, 
an avowed enemy of the eighteenth amendment and a champion 
of the rights of the common people. 

Adolph J. Sabath is also a leader in local democratic politics and 
for many years has occupied the position of Chairman of the Cook 

113 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

County Central Committee. His support enabled many Jews to 
achieve high political honors. 

Joseph Sabath, a younger brother of the Congressman, was born 
in 1870, and came to the United States at the age of fifteen. In 
order to help his brother Adolph care for the other members of the 
family, he had to deny himself the fulfillment of his chief ambi- 
tion, to attend school in this country. Thus he, too, like Adolph, 
burned the midnight oil and industriously studied at night after a 
day of toil. In 95 he entered the Chicago College of Law, a branch 
of Lake Forest University, and in the spring of '97 was admitted to 
the bar. He immediately set out to pursue the practice of the legal 
profession. Possessed of an exceptional facility for cultivating 
friendships, he found the road not too hard and proved a success 
from the very beginning. 

In the fall of 1910, when both parties selected candidates for the 
Municipal Court to be placed on the primary ballots, Joseph Sabath 
filed an independent petition and was nominated. At the election 
that followed, he was among the very few Democrats that were 
elected. With a few exceptions the entire Democratic ticket was 
defeated. Shortly before his six year term expired, one of the judges 
recently elected to the Superior Court died. The Governor had the 
power to appoint a successor to fill the vacancy until the next regu- 
lar county election; Governor Edward F. Dunne appointed Joseph 
Sabath to fill the short term. At the next regular election, which 
was in the fall of the same year, Judge Sabath was elected Judge of 
the Superior Court to succeed himself. He was reelected in 1922 — 
and again in '28 — each time with overwhelming majorities. During 
his fourteen years in the Superior Court he has heard mostly matri- 
monial difficulties in the divorce court. His humanitarianism, his 
knowledge of human nature and his faith in the preservation of the 
unity of the family have made him the foremost jurist in that 
branch of jurisprudence which touches the very foundation of our 
social structure. He has often been considered as proper timber for 
the position of Mayor of Chicago. 

Joachim Sabath did not live long enough to see the glory of his 
two sons; he died shortly after he came to the land of opportunity; 

114 



THE INFLUENCE OF FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS 

but Barbara, their mother, lived to an old age and rejoiced with her 
children in their success. 

IV 

THE INFLUENCE OF FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS 

Leon Zolotkoff was not alone in realizing the powerful influence 
the Lodges were exercising over the masses. Nor was he the only 
one to apply this influence to a higher and nobler purpose; to utilize 
its power to carry on propaganda for Jewish Nationalism. An or- 
ganization of a different type and with tendencies opposed to Zion- 
ism — the Jewish Socialist movement of America — was equally alert 
to the psychology of the masses and sought a medium through 
which to interest the Jewish working class in the principles of 
Socialism. After considerable study its leaders decided to adopt the 
same instrument for its purpose. While Leon Zolotkoff was work- 
ing out his plans for the Order Knights of Zion, the Socialists of 
New York were busily engaged in organizing the "Arbeiter Ring" 
(Workmen's Circle). 

The Arbeiter Ring had all the elements of the fraternal lodge. 
It went much further than the Order Knights of Zion. The latter 
imitated the fraternal lodge in form only, but in substance it was 
merely a means for disseminating propaganda; while the former 
was genuinely fraternal both in form and in substance. It em- 
braced the ceremony and allowed all the material benefits which 
such Orders gave to their members, such as sick benefits, unemploy- 
ment benefits and life insurance. It has branches all over the 
United States. It first reached Chicago in 1903, when branch 
number 32 was founded here. 

The "Lassalle Political and Educational Club" was not only the 
foundation of the Jewish Social-Democratic Party, of Chicago, but 
also of the Arbeiter Ring. In its last endeavor the Lassalle Club 
legislated itself out of existence and became part of the Arbeiter 
Ring. Since the first day of September, 1903, thirty-one additional 
branches and eight women's auxiliaries were started in the Chicago 
district, with a total membership of forty-three hundred. The large, 

115 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

imposing building on the corner of Ogden and Kedzie avenues, 
once known as "The Douglas Park Auditorium," is now the prop- 
erty of the Chicago branches of the "Arbeiter Ring" and is known 
as the "Labor Lyceum." It is used exclusively by the members and 
their families for meeting purposes, and as a cultural and educa- 
tional center. Early every fall an executive committee, composed of 
representative members of all the branches and auxiliaries, works 
out a program of lectures and other intellectual entertainments for 
the fall and winter season. The Chicago branches maintain four 
schools with an average daily attendance of three hundred pupils 
in the higher grades, and five junior schools. The studies are car- 
ried on in Yiddish and particular emphasis is laid on Yiddish 
literature. The Circle sponsors an adult choral society of one hun- 
dred male voices, and a larger choir of children's voices, all under 
the direction of a trained paid instructor. The Chicago branches 
also maintain a summer camp in South Haven, Michigan, which 
accommodates one hundred and fifty children and one hundred 
adults. Three teachers, a singing instructor and a life guard are in 
constant attendance during the summer season. 

In September, 1928, all the radical and progressive organizations 
united to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of 
branch number 32. It was one of the most auspicious events in the 
history of the Jewish labor movement in Chicago. In celebration of 
the event, a neatly composed booklet outlining the history of the 
"Arbeiter Ring" in Chicago was prepared. In it the ablest journal- 
ists of the socialist press relate the history of its beginning in a 
manner free from egotism and ostentation — a refreshing deviation 
from the method of leaders in other movements. 

V 

THE WEAVING OF A DREAM 

Bernard Horwich was the President of the Order Knights of Zion, 
but Leon Zolotkoff was the Secretary of State. He possessed two 
qualities indispensable for great statesmanship, an imagination to 
visualize the fulfillment of his ideals and a keenly analytical mind. 

116 






THE WEAVING OF A DREAM 

Next in rank was Harris Horwich, who though endowed with 
considerable ability, was temperamentally not of the clay from 
which statesmen are molded. He was excitable and without pa- 
tience for those who differed from him. Bernard Horwich had two 
younger men in his cabinet devoted to the cause of Zionism, but 
still too young to have given evidence of the parts they were to play 
in the Jewish community. These men were Nathan Kaplan and 
Max Shulman. 

Nathan D. Kaplan was born in the city of Mariampole, in the 
province of Suwalk. He descends from a long line of Talmudic 
and rabbinical scholars famed throughout many provinces in Russia 
and Palestine for their great learning and piety. Nathan was still 
a child of tender age when he was brought by his parents to 
America. The family settled in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they 
remained but a short time and then came to Chicago. Here Nathan 
attended grammar and high school and then entered the law school 
of the Lake Forest University, where he obtained the degree of 
LL. B. He was admitted to the bar and has been practicing law 
since 190 1. 

During the years that Nathan Kaplan was preparing himself for 
his career he did not neglect the finer things in life. He was an 
ardent reader of all worth-while literature and he cultivated an 
artistic and discriminating taste. Nor did he neglect the language 
and ideals of his forefathers. He studied Hebrew under private 
tutors. His father, though in moderate circumstances, was, true to 
Jewish tradition, ready to make sacrifices for the education of his 
children. 

Nathan D. Kaplan is devoutly orthodox and a devoted Zionist. 
Just as he differs in his Zionism from most American Zionist, so 
does he differ from most Orthodox Jews in his conception of Ortho- 
dox Judaism. He is extremely broadminded and never attempts to 
impose his own views on others. Among his closest friends are 
agnostics and free thinkers. He is intensely American and yet it is 
not strange that he is one of the pioneers who has gone to live in 
Palestine. 

Nathan Kaplan was never converted to Jewish nationalism. He 

117 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

imbibed Zionism with the milk from his mother's breast; many of 
her ancestors had gone to Palestine generations ago, some to live 
there and some to die. As a youth of seventeen, he was among the 
first to rally to the flag of white and blue with the shield of David 
in the center; and before he reached the age of maturity he served 
in the capacity of Grand Secretary of the Order Knights of Zion, 
a position which he occupied for many years, only to be succeeded 
by his brother and law associate, Jacob Kaplan. 

To Nathan Kaplan, Zionism meant much more than a philan- 
thropic movement to build a home of refuge for the persecuted Jews 
of Eastern Europe; it meant more than the mere restoration of his 
people to their historic homeland, more than securing a place where 
Jews might worship their God and practice their religion. All of 
these played an important part in his program, but he was mainly 
inspired by an all-embracing and all-consuming "Jewish Culture." 
It is for that reason that we find him one of the first and foremost 
to sponsor the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Palestine. He, 
more than any other person, was responsible for bringing the first 
Bezalel exhibit to America and to Chicago; and together with the 
exhibit, perhaps the greatest of all dreamers, Professor BORIS 
SCHATZ. 

Kaplan's scheme of Jewish culture was not confined to Palestine. 
Though he had not read Ahad H'am, he too, believed in a spiritual 
freedom in the disapora, and in a Jewish culture every place where 
Jews abide. Watching the almost abnormal growth of the Jewish 
community in Chicago, he saw the pressing need for an institution 
to supply culture, education, physical training and moral guidance, 
an institution based on a strong foundation of Jewish traditions and 
Jewish ideals. 

When the K'dimoh Gate and the Clara de Hirsch Gate, of the 
Order Knights of Zion, commenced a course of cultural activities, 
with Jewish history as a background and a Jewish homeland as 
their goal, the hopes of Nathan Kaplan began to rise. Like all great 
dreamers, his vision went far beyond any possibility of realization; 
at least such was the opinion expressed by some of the chroniclers 
of that period. He became the champion for a Hebrew Institute, 

118 



THE WEAVING OF A DREAM 

to be the creation of the people, for their own use and to be main- 
tained by them. In this part of his dream he overstepped the 
boundaries of possibility and his vision went too far. He was too 
young and inexperienced to realize that the comparative few who 
shared his views and were caught by the same desire to spread 
Jewish culture, did not possess the means either to build or to main- 
tain such an institution. Those who had the means were little in- 
terested in Jewish or any other culture. 

An organization of workers for the Institute took form and was 
composed of the leading members of the two Zionist gates hereto- 
fore named. The charter issued by the Secretary of State on No- 
vember 12th, 1903, on the application of Nathan D. Kaplan, bears 
the following names: Ben D. Berman, Adolph Braude, Jacob 
Cohen, R. L. Cohen, Wolf Cohen, Charles Ginsburg, Max Ginsburg, 
Samuel Ginsburg, J. Goldstein, Robert L. Halperin, Harry Israel- 
stam, Nathan D. Kaplan, H. L. Meites, Harry Morris, Louis Morris, 
L. Philipson, B. L. Piatt, J. Salk, Max Shulman, B. L. Sloan, I. Sloan, 
M. C. Sloan, Nathan Sloan and Philip Yawschitz. Dr. Robert L. 
Halperin was elected president, Adolph Braude, secretary, and 
Philip M. Yawschitz, treasurer. 

In April, 1904, a constitution was prepared and adopted by a 
Board of Directors, consisting of Charles D. Golden, D. P. Pollack, 
A. Kaplan, Rabbi A. R. Levy and Rabbi Tobias Schanfarber. 

The disheartening work of planning without encouragement or 
support from those upon whom he had centered his hopes, caused 
Nathan Kaplan bitter disappointment, but he was not defeated. 
He directed his attention to different quarters, and sought salvation 
from other sources. Without waiting for divine intervention, he 
set about accomplishing something practicable. Doctor Emil G. 
Hirsch, who was always a champion of the cause of culture, became 
at the outset a partisan to the idea of a Hebrew Institute. He 
volunteered to deliver a series of lectures for the benefit of a Hebrew 
Institute. He was always eager to lecture to an audience of West 
Side Jews. The course would perform a two-fold purpose, if suc- 
cessful; it would convince the people of the need of such an institu- 

119 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

tion, and it would be a source of revenue. The subject chosen by 
Rabbi Hirsch was "Jewish History and the Ethics of Judaism." 

The West Side Auditorium was engaged and the series began. 
A large crowd greeted Doctor Hirsch on the first Sunday afternoon 
when he presented the introduction to the series and the large, 
enthusiastic gathering convinced him more strongly than ever of 
the necessity for a Hebrew Institute. But Dr. Hirsch became ill 
after the first lecture and was prevented from continuing the course. 
He was substituted for at various times by Dr. A. B. Yudelson, 
Rabbi Tobias Schanfarber, Rabbi Joseph Stolz, Rabbi A. R. Levy, 
Alice Henry, of Australia; Dr. E. A. Fischkin and Leon Zolotkoff. 
Through the individual efforts of Nathan D. Kaplan, new forces 
were gradually attracted to the idea, forces that wielded certain 
influence in various walks of life: Dr. E. A. Fischkin, eminent 
physician and son-in-law of Doctor Bernard Felsenthal; Herman 
L. Reiwitch, night editor of the Record-Herald; Victor Polachek, 
night editor of the Chicago Examiner; I. K. Friedman, editorial 
writer for the Chicago Daily News and author of several important 
novels. 

Many young women became active and sought ways and means 
to make the Institute a reality: Mrs. Isadore Natkin, Mrs. Louis 
Degan, Mrs. Robert Halperin, Miss Bertha Jerusalimsky, who is 
now Mrs. Harry Berkman; Mrs. Johannah Loeb, Mrs. Joseph Fish, 
who is now Mrs. Charles King Corsant; Mrs. Edwin Romberg, 
Miss Bertha Loeb and the late Mrs. Rose L. Newberger became 
identified with the cause from the very start. With these people, 
representing wealth, influence and education, the idea began to 
lose the vagueness of a dream and to assume the definite outlines 
of reality. 

Dr. R. L. Halperin was succeeded as president by Herman L. 
Reiwitch, under whose reign great strides were made towards ac- 
complishment. Reiwitch was succeeded by Doctor E. A. Fischkin, 
a Russian by birth, and a German by education, thus eminently 
fit to preside over the building of an institution that was rapidly 
tending to bridge the gap of the Chicago river that divided the 
two classes of Jews: the South Side and the West Side, the Russian 

120 






THE BURDEN OF DISTRIBUTING GREAT WEALTH 

and the German, The Reform and the Orthodox Jews. During 
his term of office, the Board of Directors leased a three-story build- 
ing at 1 124 Blue Island avenue. Harry A. Lipsky was appointed 
superintendent, and the Chicago Hebrew Institute began to 
function. 

VI 

THE BURDEN OF DISTRIBUTING GREAT WEALTH 

There are but few men burdened with the task of disposing of 
immense wealth. In our modern social and industrial life there are 
many who are "oppressed" with the possession of wealth, but in 
most instances their distress lies in the problem of how to increase 
it. Its distribution and disposition, if considered at all, they usually 
leave to the discretion of the directors of a bank or a trust company. 

The heart of the legendary "Dame Fortune" is of a cold, hard 
substance, impenetrable and devoid of feeling. In return for her 
gifts she exacts the most precious things in life, human compassion, 
sympathy and the capacity for emotion. Dame Fortune was unable 
to accomplish her devilish tricks in the case of Julius Rosenwald. 
She lavished her riches on him in reckless abandon but was power- 
less to take from him that which he inherited from Samuel, his 
father, and Augusta, his mother: his tender concern for a 
suffering humanity. Thus, the extreme wealth which fortune heaped 
upon him wrought no changes in the soul of Julius Rosenwald, 
but gave him, instead, wider opportunities to spread his bounties 
and ease the great "Welt Schmerz," wherever possible. 

In an elaborate statement made by Rosenwald to the well known 
publicist, Elias Tobenkin, and published in the Saturday Evening 
Post of January 5th, 1929, he is quoted as saying: "Wealth — great 
wealth I mean — came to me late in life. I have never known 
poverty. My childhood experiences were those of the average boy 
in a small American community. I sold papers on the streets of 
Springfield, Illinois, my birthplace, and I ran errands. ... It was 
not till I reached my early forties, however, that fortune smiled 
upon me in a big way, and no one was more surprised at my sudden 

121 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

landing in the midst of America's multi-millionaire class than I 
was myself." The style and manner of speech express the simple 
unassuming spirit of the man and leave no doubt that the score of 
years which passed since he first found himself confronted with 
the problem of how to dispose of so many millions, effected no 
change in Julius Rosenwald, the man and the Jew. 

In the past quarter of a century, Julius Rosenwald has distributed 
millions of dollars for innumerable causes. I have before me a 
record of figures that daze and bewilder the mind, strings of mute, 
unimaginative numerals which try vainly to convey their import- 
ance; figures of money spent on education, culture, art and science; 
cold figures which are but generic symbols for food for the hungry, 
health for the sick, homes for the homeless, protection and care for 
orphans and shelter for the old and feeble, at home and abroad, 
for Jews and Gentiles, black and white alike. Our admiration for 
such generosity does not stop with Rosenwald, the philanthropist, 
but extends to Rosenwald the pathfinder, the trail blazer! He was 
among the first to introduce the idea of giving during his life 
time, and not keeping humanity waiting for the opening of the 
"Last Will and Testament," to find bequests for philanthropic 
purposes. He devised a plan whereby the trustees of the "Rosen- 
wald Fund" must exhaust all moneys of the Fund not later than 
twenty-five years after his death, to prevent the accumulation of 
large sums that might last eternally. To give a better understanding 
of his reasons for this innovation in philanthropy, I quote again 
from the interview by Mr. Tobenkin: "The generation which has 
contributed to the making of a millionaire should be the one to 
benefit by his generosity. Contemporary needs are the only needs 
of which we can be certain, and it is these needs we must serve. 
They are too plain and too urgent to permit us with good conscience 
to overlook them, or even slight them and to attempt to provide 
for the unknowable problems of the future." 

Not all men think alike nor feel alike. It is not strange that one 
often hears criticism on the manner in which Rosenwald distributes 
his wealth. "If I had his money I would make better use of it," 
says one. Another says: "Rosenwald is narrowminded, he has his 

122 



THE BURDEN OF DISTRIBUTING GREAT WEALTH 

own few pet hobbies and refuses to interest himself in anything 
else." I have heard condemnations which were even more disparag- 
ing: "Rosen wald is a detriment to Chicago Jewry. He has the 
reputation of contributing to everything worth while, so that any 
cause overlooked by him is regarded by a certain class of people as 
unworthy and receives no support." It is obvious that in the latter 
case the fault lies not with Julius Rosenwald but with the wealthy 
Chicago Jews who refuse to contribute to a cause on the mere pre- 
tense that since Rosenwald manifests no interest therein, therefore, 
it must be unworthy. It shows not only a lack of originality on 
their part, but of sincerity as well. 

Mr. Rosenwald has been severely criticised for not identifying 
himself with the Zionist movement. There was a time when Rosen- 
wald was quite friendly to the cause of Zionism. I recall a meeting 
on a Sunday afternoon, about seventeen years ago, held in the Chi- 
cago Hebrew Institute. The principal speaker was Aaron Aronson, 
from Palestine. He was the guest of the Rosenwalds and was 
accompanied by them to the meeting. When Nathan D. Kaplan 
suggested that the audience select a chairman for the meeting Mr. 
Rosenwald was the unanimous choice. When he finally agreed to 
accept the honor, he was introduced by Mr. Kaplan as the "not 
yet Zionist." Mr. Rosenwald resented the remark and replied 
vehemently, "I do not know what constitutes a Zionist. I am con- 
tributing to every worthy institution in Palestine. What else is 
needed to make me a Zionist?" 

To obtain a more comprehensive view of his advanced ideas in 
philanthropy — or as he prefers to call it, "Social Welfare," — I shall 
quote from a letter Mr. Rosenwald addressed to the Trustees of 
the "Rosenwald Fund." The letter bears the date of April 30, 
1928, and reads in part as follows: ' ... I am not in sympathy 
with this policy of perpetuating endowments and believe that more 
good can be accomplished by expending funds as trustees find 
opportunities for constructive work than by storing large sums of 
money for long periods of time. By adopting the policy of using 
the Fund within this generation, we may avoid those tendencies 
towards a Bureaucracy and a formal or perfunctory attitude toward 

123 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the work which almost inevitably develops in organizations which 
prolong their existence indefinitely. Coming generations can be 
relied upon to provide their own needs as they arise." 

Mr. Rosenwald's first appearance as a philanthropist was in 1908, 
when he answered to the demands of the young people of the West 
Side who, under the leadership of Nathan D. Kaplan, clamored for 
an educational and social center. Julius Rosenwald came forward 
with a sum of five thousand dollars as a gift towards the building 
fund and he advanced a loan of seventy-five thousand dollars, with- 
out interest, conditional, however, on the raising of an additional 
sum of forty thousand dollars by subscription. The aggregate 
amount of one hundred and twenty thousand dollars made possible 
the purchase of a tract of land, together with the buildings on it, 
from the Sacred Heart Convent, on Taylor street between Sibley 
and Lytle streets, and the long cherished dream of so many was 
realized at last. His next substantial gift was to the University of 
Chicago, on his fiftieth birthday. 

VII 

ANALYSIS OF A SOUL 

One who has a deeper insight into the workings of Mr. Rosenwald's 
philanthropies or Social Welfare is impressed with the fact that 
there is nothing erratic or hysterical in his methods. He has 
developed a systematic philosophy consistent with his genius, that 
makes him the outstanding figure in the world of commerce and 
industry. He is directed by a deep sympathetic heart, which is the 
power that dominates his actions. He will tell you without hesita- 
tion, that he has no favorites among the many institutions in which 
he is interested. He delights in those that show good results and 
therefore probably gains the greatest amount of satisfaction from 
the rural schools for Negro children. In 1929, there were 4,729 
modern schools, shops and teachers' homes benefited by the Rosen- 
wald Fund. These buildings are situated in 818 counties of fourteen 
southern states. 566,730 pupils, all colored, are instructed by 12,594 
teachers. These children, who would have been brought up in 

124 



ANALYSIS OF A SOUL 

ignorance, a menace to society and a detriment unto themselves, 
are now being prepared and instructed to become useful members 
of society and loyal citizens of their country. 

If one ventured to question Mr. Rosenwald, as to what caused 
him to take so profound an interest in the Negro race, he will 
probably surprise his interrogator with his answer, but it comes 
straight and honest, and its soundness and logic remove all doubts. 
He would answer that because he himself was the son of a perse- 
cuted and despised race, he took up the cause of another despised 
and persecuted race. 

Shortly before his death I had occasion to hear Mr. Rosenwald 
expound some of his theories on "Social Welfare." I made so bold 
as to observe: "It seems to me that all your philanthropies and your 
philosophy of social welfare are motivated by your Jewish soul." 
A gentle smile played around his lips, as he replied: "That may be 
so, but you know it is difficult to analyze a soul." Whether a soul 
can be analyzed or not is still open to question, but I believe I was 
privileged to behold the inner soul of Julius Rosenwald. 

Even confining myself as I do, to the cultural and educational 
philanthropies of Julius Rosenwald, the field is so enormous and 
the amounts so vast that they confound me. I am not only over- 
whelmed by the size of the figures, but also by the ingeniousness 
of the schemes, the magnitude of the enterprises and the minute 
details in which they are all worked out. They prove Rosenwald 
not only the mastermind of finance, but also a genius in working 
out colossal schemes to embrace every problem in its entirety and 
then reducing them to the minutest details. 

"But what has he done for Jewish Culture?" asks the scoffer. To 
analyze culture is as difficult as to analyze a soul. If we consider 
Jewish Culture in its broader sense, including the moral, physical, 
spiritual, religious and scientific aspects of the people, Rosenwald's 
contribution is beyond estimation. He contributed to and helps 
maintain almost every temple, 'social center and Hebrew school 
during the past quarter of a century. The Jewish People's Institute 
(the erstwhile Hebrew Institute) would not have come into being 
without his aid and it would never have spread out to include so 

125 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

many endeavors nor embraced so many different activities if not 
for his support. His offer is even now pending with the Board of 
Jewish Education to build more Talmud Torahs, as soon as the 
Board will find need for them. 

During the World War he manifested his devotion to Jewish 
culture by supporting the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, in 
Jerusalem. 

We must also bear in mind that his contribution to general 
culture both here and abroad benefits the Jews as well. For example, 
the large gifts he gave to the University of Chicago contribute 
indirectly to Jewish culture. For they not only reach the Jewish 
students who constitute an integral part of the University, and who 
in proportion have a larger representation than any other ethnic 
group, but they enable the institution to reach out into wider fields 
of scientific research. Through the recent descent into the practical 
study of Anthropology (to name only one branch benefited by 
these gifts) the scientific world has been greatly enriched, and the 
Jews in particular have gained considerably from these excavations 
in Palestine, Syria, Egypt, etc. 

In connection with the University of Chicago, two interesting 
episodes were related to me by an intimate friend of Mr. Rosen- 
wald's, and demonstrated the modesty of the man. As a trustee of 
the university he was aware that a new dormitory was needed. He 
expressed his willingness to contribute one-half of the costs of the 
construction. His colleagues on the Board feared that he might, 
in the characteristic manner of his people, build something ostenta- 
tious and elaborate. They were greatly surprised when Rosenwald 
submitted the plans for a dormitory he had in mind: it was to give 
every comfort to the residents, with plenty of air and sunlight, but 
was bare of all ornamentation. It was to be rented to the students 
at cost, plus a return of five percent interest on the total amount of 
investment, to be used for the benefit of the University. 

The second episode is even more striking. A certain individual 
approached the University officials with the proposition that he 
would give the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for 
the erection of a building on the campus, provided that it would 

126 



THE BLENDING OF TWO CULTURES 

bear his name. The University was in need of such a building, the 
cost would amount to one million dollars, one-half of which could 
be borne by the treasury of the University. The individual could 
spare no more than the amount originally offered and the matter 
hung in abeyance. When informed of the impasse to which the 
prospective donor and the Board of Trustees had come, Mr. Rosen- 
wald quietly saved the situation by subscribing the necessary quarter 
of a million and the building is credited to the generosity of the 
man who desired to perpetuate his name in stone on the portals of 
an institution of learning. 

VIII 

THE BLENDING OF TWO CULTURES 

In 1903, Julian W. Mack was elected Judge of the Circuit Court of 
Cook county. He came to Chicago in 1890, at the time when 
Chicago was attracting world-wide attention — not because of its 
gangsters and criminals, but because it was looked upon as the 
Klondike of the world; the city of great possibilities and oppor- 
tunities, the city chosen to serve as host to the World's Columbian 
Exposition. 

In his early twenties, Mack came here with a degree of LL. B. 
awarded him by Harvard College, as well as the Parker Fellowship, 
which enabled him to continue his studies at the L T niversities of 
Berlin and Leipzig, Germany. He is said to have been one of the 
most brilliant students Harvard ever produced. 

He arrived in Chicago unheralded; no flourishing of trumpets 
announced his arrival. In fact, the city was not even mildly stirred 
by the contemplation of the young man's selection of it as a home. 
Chicago was unaware that young Mack chose it because he saw in 
the rapidly growing city a wide field for the service he had to offer. 
With urban indifferences it ignored the as yet unproven idealist 
who sought a larger scope for the talents and ability which he 
brought to offer to its people, and especially those of his own race. 
But he was not slow in forcing Chicago to notice him. The same 
year he came here he was admitted to the Illinois bar. Two years 

127 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

later, as secretary of the Jewish Charities, he was diligently working 
out a plan of reorganization to improve the system of collecting and 
distributing funds for the indigent immigrants. In 95 he was 
appointed professor of law on the faculty of Northwestern Univer- 
sity and remained with that institution for seven years, after which 
he left to become associated with the University of Chicago. 

When Julian W. Mack came to Chicago, the two Jewish com- 
munities — the Orthodox community on the west and northwest 
sides, and the Reform element on the South side — had no point of 
contact except in the giving and receiving of charity. The South 
side Jews were the givers and the West side Jews the receivers. 
A common Jewish Culture was still unknown. The Reform Jews 
had culture, it is true, but it was not a Jewish culture ; the Orthodox 
Jews, on the other hand, had an abundance of Jewishness but little 
culture. There was something in the psychology of Mack, perhaps 
an intellectual curiosity, which urged him to acquaint himself with 
the life of the Russian Jew. Like Louis D. Brandeis, who later 
became his intimate friend, he sought an inner beauty in the un- 
attractive, emotional, long-bearded Jew, still bewildered in his new 
environment. When he did succeed in penetrating the soul and 
found all the rich intensity of color, and the latent capacity for real 
greatness, he set to work to homogenize the two groups. He, like 
many before him, reached the conclusion: 

"Den wo das Strenge mit dem Zarten, 
Wo Starkes sich und Mildes paarten, 
Da giebt einen guten Klang." 

He hoped to blend the dissonant chords of a passionate pathos 
with the rhythmic tonality of a reasoning sensibility in order to 
achieve a harmonious, symphonic whole. He hoped to subdue the 
harsh discords and emphasize the leitmotif. And as he grew to 
know the Russian Jew more intimately, the more anxious he was 
to effect the glorious masterpiece. 

I remember a Saturday morning, during his first term as Judge. 
I accompanied Judge Mack to the Anshe K'nesseth Israel Syna- 
gogue. It was extremely interesting to watch the reactions of the 

128 






THE BLENDING OF TWO CULTURES 

man of culture who, perhaps for the first time in his life, attended 
prayers in an Orthodox house of worship. I discerned something 
of the mystic in him. In those days he knew less Hebrew than he 
knows now but he was carried away by the Hebrew prayers. I 
watched this man who had listened enraptured to operas and 
symphonies performed in this country and Europe by the world's 
greatest artists, and saw him completely spellbound by the chanting 
of the Chazan, whose music lacked every essential of harmony as 
we understand it. 

The services lasted until about noon and afterwards the two of 
us went to the home of Mr. Sodwoysky (one of the members of 
the Synagogue), to join him for "Kiddush." The Judge sat in 
amazement, awed not only by the abundance of fragrant wines 
and the platters heaped high with "Gefilte Fish," although as a 
connoisseur of good food he could appreciate these, but he marvelled 
at the spiritual enjoyment these people could derive from the prac- 
tice of the religion of their forefathers. He basked in the spirit of 
contentment and peace which shone from every countenance and 
pervaded every corner of the house. 

On our way back downtown he sat in silent reflection for awhile ; 
then suddenly he turned to me and asked: "Is there the same spirit 
of rest, quietude, and perfect happiness in every Orthodox home 
on the Sabbath Day?" 

Under our American system of government, where politics is a 
factor in every public department, there are two kinds of judges. 
One is the political type who has been awarded the judgeship in 
return for services to his party. A judge of that sort usually remains 
the politician even under his judicial robes. The other type is a 
rare one. It sometimes happens that a wave of reform sweeps a com- 
munity which, grown tired of its political judges, decides to elect 
men of high caliber and proven ability in the legal profession. 
Julian W. Mack belongs to the latter occasional group of judges. 
He knows nothing about politics and has never been the tool of 
any party. He was swept into a judicial position by a general clamor 
on the part of the public for honest, capable, incorruptible judges. 

Although a brilliant jurist who, without any great effort could 

129 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

have made a reputation for himself in any branch of jurisprudence, 
Judge Mack cared little for personal aggrandizement and sought 
instead merely a place where the combined power of a clear brain, 
a sympathetic heart and a sincere purpose could be of greatest 
service. The Juvenile Court had been in existence for several years 
prior to this time, but instead of fulfilling the purpose for which it 
was created, namely, to deter boys and girls of tender age from 
criminal and immoral pursuits, it became the battleground for 
religious zealots who were interested only in saving souls; each 
denomination was fighting to gain possession of every wayward 
child that was brought into court, for its own narrow reasons. 
Judges were assigned to that important tribunal not because of their 
fitness to deal with the child problem but because of their lack of 
capability in any other branch. The humanitarians who sponsored 
the establishment of a Juvenile Court were greatly disappointed 
when they saw to what abuse it was being subjected. At his own 
request, Judge Mack was assigned to the Juvenile branch where 
for many years he counseled and corrected young offenders. His 
first efforts were to free the court from the sinister influences of 
creed and dogma. This was no easy task for it involved a struggle 
against the clergy of almost all denominations, an opposition 
powerful enough to be almost invincible. However, he succeeded 
at last in divorcing the court from religious bigotry and the first 
move in the process of juvenile reform was won. Through his 
influence, the Juvenile Act was amended and some of its outstand- 
ing defects were eliminated. 

Six years later when his term expired and he was named a candi- 
date for re-election, those elements which he ousted in his endeavor 
to elevate the standard of the Juvenile Court, and others which he 
had attacked in his uncompromising distribution of justice com- 
bined together in an attempt to defeat him. His antagonists put 
up a strong fight, but for the second time Judge Mack emerged 
the victor. He began his second term by continuing the reforms 
he inaugurated in the first and today much of the high moral status 
of the Juvenile Court is credited to Judge Mack's efforts. However, 

130 



THE BLENDING OF TWO CULTURES 

he did not complete the second term, for a year later the United 
States Congress enacted the Interstate-Commerce Law and created 
the Commerce Court. President Taft appointed Judge Mack a 
member of that court, despite the fact that the latter was a Democrat 
and not a member of the party then in power. 

The new appointment obliged Judge Mack to leave Chicago and 
hold Court in various parts of the country. At a later session of 
Congress the Interstate Commerce Court was abolished, but its 
judges were retained as judges of the United States Circuit Court 
of Appeals, without definite districts assigned to them. Judge Mack 
went to live in New York, but Chicago remained his legal residence. 

In the forty years in which Judge Mack was a resident of Chicago 
he occupied himself with activities for the welfare of his fellow 
men and fellow Jews. Culture and philanthropy were his two 
ruling passions. He was one of the founders of the Jewish Book 
and Play Club. He was the intermediary between the embryonic 
Chicago Hebrew Institute and Mr. Julius Rosenwald, in the nego- 
tiations which convinced the latter of the necessity for building that 
institution. 

His understanding of his people, his sympathies for their suffer- 
ings and his susceptibility to the idealistic appeal of Zionism made 
him a ready disciple to the cause of which he inevitably became one 
of the leaders. From the very first he cast his lot with the Brandeis 
faction. For several years he was president of the Zionist Organiza- 
tion of America. He surrendered the office at the Cleveland Con- 
vention in 1921, when the break came between Doctor Ch. Weiz- 
man and Louis D. Brandeis, Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

At a subsequent Zionist Convention in Cleveland, a treaty of 
peace was entered into by the two opposing factions and the Mack- 
Brandeis Group again gained control of the Zionist Organization 
of America. In Judge Julian W. Mack, the East and the West are 
combined in perfect harmony. In him are blended the American 
man of letters and the educated Jew; he embodies Hellenism and 
Hebraism. 

131 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

IX 

BROTHERS IN SORROW 

There was a time when Kishinef was a Paradise for Russian 
Jews. Of the one hundred and fifty thousand population of the 
city, forty thousand were Jews. The fertility of the soil, the climatic 
conditions and nature's bounty favored all the children of men, 
irrespective of creed or race. Jews and Gentiles lived side by side 
in friendship and peace. Periodic efforts were made to provoke 
riots and plant the seeds of hatred for the Jews in the hearts of the 
phlegmatic and unsophisticated peasants. It was no high moral 
principle that restrained them from attacking their neighbors. 
When urged to "kill the Jews," they had always replied: "If the 
Government wants to kill the Jews let them use their soldiers to 
do the job." 

Ever since the days of Adam and Eve, no Eden has existed 
without its serpent and the serpent came creeping into Kishinef 
early in the spring of 1897. ^ came m the disguise of a man named 
"Krushewan" and bared its poisonous fangs in the columns of the 
"Besarabetz," a newspaper which he established in the principal 
city of Besarabia. For six years Krushewan distilled hatred in the 
minds of the non-Jewish population of the city and of the Moldav- 
ian peasants for miles around the city, against the Jews. His 
methods were systematic; he first raised the "Jewish question" in 
an abstract form; then he began specific attacks, which became 
more and more violent, until they reached the most bloodthirsty 
fanaticism and madness. He was greatly encouraged and supported 
by the Government officials. For five years Krushewan carried on 
his campaign against the Jews. Every issue of the "Besarabetz" 
contained slanderous articles against them, representing them as 
blood-suckers, parasites and robbers; and he incited the Christian 
population to wage a pitiless war of extermination. 

A "Christian Benevolent Society" was organized, from which 

Jews were excluded, and Krushewan and his followers were the 

ruling factors. The object of the society is obvious and the income 

132 






BROTHERS IN SORROW 

derived from contributions made by members of the nobility and 
officials, some came even from Roumania. 

From 1902 to 1903 Krushewan busied himself with accusations 
of ritual murder. Just before the Easter holidays of the year 1902, 
a young Christian lad was found dead in a well outside of the city. 
Krushewan immediately began a wild campaign against the Jews, 
whom he accused of having killed the youth for ritualistic purposes. 
It was later established that the murder was committed by a 
Christian who then threw the body into the well to conceal the 
crime. During that year several other incidents of a similar char- 
acter occurred. Although the guilty persons were eventually appre- 
hended and the Jews exonerated it was not until after the damage 
was done and the masses had been enraged to madness. Soon after 
the well incident a "mysterious" case of ritual murder was dis- 
covered in Kishinef itself. 

A Christian girl, in the service of a Jewish merchant, had taken 
poison. In the night the merchant heard her moaning. He immed- 
iately called a physician who found the girl in serious danger. He 
had her moved to the nearest hospital, which happened to be a 
Jewish one. The physician reported the case at once to the authori- 
ties. The maid testified to the court official who came to the 
hospital, that she had poisoned herself and completely vindicated 
her master. She died in the Jewish hospital. Soon reports of ritual 
murder were flying through the city. When the girl was buried, a 
large crowd gathered at the cemetery. A government official de- 
livered the funeral address, in which he observed that deaths of 
Christian girls were remarkably frequent before the Jewish Easter 
festival. The remark was repeated in all circles and received cred- 
ence even among the high officials. 

Preparations were going forward for a terrible outbreak against 
the Jews. During the two weeks before the Christian Easter crowds 
of anti-Semites gathered in the hotel "Rossia." Arms were brought 
and pamphlets and placecards were printed. One of these pam- 
phlets, which were widely distributed among the people, began with 
the following sentence: "An ukase of the Czar to permit Christians 

133 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

to execute bloody justice on the Jews during the three holy days 
of Easter." 

Early Sunday morning, April 19, the sun shone brightly and 
dried the earth that was drenched by rain the night before; it was 
the seventh day of the Jewish Passover. So little did they suspect 
any evil that the Jewish citizens put on holiday attire and went to 
the Synagogue. At the close of the service the "Shammossim" 
proclaimed that every Jew should return to his home and remain 
there. 

Suddenly, towards noon, without any previous disturbance hav- 
ing occurred between Jews and Christians, a band of Christian 
boys, from ten to fifteen years of age, began attacking a party of 
Jews. The Jews fled, with the boys after them, but escaped without 
receiving much harm. The band scattered quickly into the main 
streets of Kishinef, and began to break windows in the Jewish 
houses and stores. Everything was at once locked up. The police 
dispersed the hoodlums but made no arrests. 

This procedure of the police, of course, encouraged the maraud- 
ers. At about three in the afternoon a crowd of men suddenly 
appeared in the square of the Novi Bazaar, shouting: "Death to 
the Jews! Strike the Jews!" In front of the Moscow tavern this 
crowd of several hundred divided itself into groups of about fifteen 
men each. From that point the plunder and destruction of Jewish 
houses and stores began systematically in twenty-four parts of the 
city at the same time. Windows were smashed, doors were torn 
off and the mob crowded into the houses, smashing and breaking 
whatever there was to be found in the way of furniture and fittings. 
The Jews were obliged to deliver to the spoilers their jewelry, 
money and everything else that was valuable. If they offered even 
the slightest resistance, they were beaten with cudgels, improvised 
from pieces of broken furniture. The scene was especially lively 
in the storehouses. The wares were either seized or thrown into 
the street and destroyed. A large following of interested spectators 
accompanied the marauders — officials, theological students, etc. . . . 
Women took articles of clothing from the robbers, donned silk 
mantles on the spot, or wrapped themselves in costly stuffs. The 

134 



BROTHERS IN SORROW 

robbers themselves becoming intoxicated with drink, put on the 
ornaments which they had found and clothed themselves in 
plundered garments. The sport lasted the whole afternoon and 
part of the night. 

The Chief of Police, the Vice Governor and the other authorities 
gave the mob no indication that they were in the least concerned 
with what went on. But all this was as nothing to what was to 
follow. These preliminary attacks ceased at about ten o'clock at 
night, when the rage of the exhausted bandits subsided. This lull 
which lasted during the night was only the calm preceding the 
orgies which were to come in the two days that followed. 

This chronicle of the Kishinef Pogrom is from extracts taken 
from Dr. Isidore Singer's volume "Russia at the Bar of the Ameri- 
can People," a collection of records and documents. "What fol- 
lowed," Dr. Singer writes, "can never be described by pen of man. 
Not only because dreadful death has closed the mouths which might 
have been able to speak, not because the murderers themselves will 
never tell, but what happened was so inhuman, so horrible, so 
many were the kinds of atrocities committed, so much diabolical 
immorality raged, that there is no language which can aptly de- 
scribe even a part of the horrors and atrocities which forever have 
covered with shame the Russian government and its servile help- 
mate, the Russian Church." 

Nevertheless, Dr. Singer has given us a fair conception of the 
ghastly tragedy. 

From three o'clock Monday morning until eight o'clock that 
evening riotous mobs raged in the midst of ruins and rubbish which 
they themselves had piled up ; they looted, burned, destroyed Jewish 
property, they tortured, outraged and killed Jews. Fanaticism, 
cupidity, cruelty, bestial lust and diabolical wickedness held shame- 
ful orgies in the darkness of the night and in the broad light of 
the day. . . . 

I can go no further; it is too gruesome, too terrible even to con- 
template the inhuman, cruel outrages that were committed during 
these two long days. When only part of the facts became known 

135 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

to the world, humanity stood aghast. Never before in the history 
of mankind was there a parallel to the outrages of Kishinef. Jews 
the world over were terrified when they received the shocking 
news. The voice from Kishinef unnerved them. They lost speech 
and were unable, for a time, to give expression to their woes. It 
was not until many years later that Israel Zangwill summed up 
in verse the tragedies of Israel in the land of the Czars : 

"No laughter rings in these ruins 

Save of girls to madness shamed. 
Their mothers disembowelled 

Lie stark 'mid children maimed. 
The Shule has a great congregation 

But never a psalm they drone, 
Shrouded in red-striped Tallesim 

Levi huddles with Kohn; 
But the blood from their bodies oozing 

Is the blood that is your own. 

"Shot, some six to a bullet, 

Lashed and trailed in the dust, 
Mutilated with hatchets 

In superbestial lust — 
No beast can even imagine 

What Christians do or condone — 
Surely they bear our burden 

And for our sins atone, 
And if we hide our faces, then the guilt is as our own." 

Indignation meetings were held in all parts of the United States 
and in all the large centers of Europe. The meetings in this country 
were attended by and participated in by leading statesmen, lawyers, 
clergymen, professors of universities and philanthropists. Particu- 
larly impressive were the meetings held in Baltimore, New York, 
Philadelphia and New Orleans. 

136 






BROTHERS IN SORROW 

The Jews of Chicago were as sorrowful and grief -stricken as all 
the other Jews of the world, but they felt that it was no time to be 
demonstrative, to weep in the open, or to invite strangers to weep 
with them. The sorrows "were their own," and they decided to 
mourn over the terrible catastrophe, in the old Jewish fashion. A 
meeting was called of representatives of all Jewish organizations in 
the city. A committee was named, headed by Bernard Horwich 
to decide upon a day of mourning to be set aside for the Jews of 
the city to join in the universal lamentation. The committee be- 
came active at once and without delay worked out the details. The 
day was decided upon. I cannot remember what day it was and 
no records were kept. It was decided that on the afternoon of the 
u day of mourning" all business in the Jewish quarters was to be 
suspended and stores and factories belonging to Jews, closed. At 
five o'clock in the afternoon all Synagogues were to be thrown 
open to the public. A sub-committee composed of Leon Zolotkoff 
and Harris Horwich prepared a set of special prayers for the 
occasion. Jews of all classes joined in the ceremony. It was my 
duty, as secretary, to select a list of speakers in Yiddish and in 
English and assign them to the Synagogues. 

While the preparations were being made, a general meeting was 
called at the Standard Club, on Michigan avenue and Twenty-third 
street. I recall vividly how, after I made a report in which I 
stressed the need for more speakers, Doctor Emil G. Hirsch rose 
to his feet and in his well known and unforgettable voice he ex- 
claimed : "We will join you ! We will all come to mingle our tears 
with your tears. We will mourn with you the deaths of the martyrs 
who died to sanctify the name of God. We are all brothers in 
sorrow! As for me, use me wherever you see fit; if needs be I'll 
put on my philacteries and prayer shawl; send me where you will." 
Abraham G. Becker offered the suggestion that an appeal signed 
by all the Reform Rabbis be issued to the members of the various 
Temples, requesting all Jews to take part in the observance of the 
"Day of Mourning" for the Jewish blood that was spilled in 
Kishinef ; and that the Reform Rabbis call a mass-meeting in one of 

137 



CHICAGO AND ITS ]EWS 

the Temples most accessible to everybody for the evening following 
the "Day of Mourning." Doctor Stolz offered his Temple, Isaiah, 
on Vincennes avenue and 46th place. 

At noon on the "Day of Mourning" I and my assisting staff 
moved into the offices of the "Daily Jewish Courier," to be more 
centrally located among the Synagogues. About three in the after- 
noon I stepped out of the office and walked to the corner of Twelfth 
and Halsted streets. I stood looking up and down both streets as 
far as my eyes could see, and beheld a scene which left an indellible 
impression on me, one which can never fade from my mind. Even 
now, twenty-seven years later, I can think of nothing in my life's 
experience which has impressed me as deeply. All places of busi- 
ness along these busiest of streets in the heart of the Ghetto, were 
closed. It was rumored that even the few non-Jewish business 
houses in the neighborhood were closed out of respect to their 
grief-stricken neighbors. Streams of men and women, carrying 
prayerbooks, silently wended their way towards the Synagogues. 
At four-thirty, I made short visits to several Houses of Worship and 
found them crowded to capacity. Before some of the larger Syna- 
gogues great crowds of people were congregated, unable to gain 
admission. Particularly large was the overflow at the "Anshe 
K'nesseth Israel," (Russische Schul) where the speakers were Rabbi 
Emil G. Hirsch, Judge Julian W. Mack and Bernard Horwich. The 
latter spoke in Yiddish. He read a letter he had received from an 
eye-witness to the massacre. This letter which vividly depicted the 
, horrors almost caused a panic. Men and women became hysterical 
and several women fainted. All faces showed deep sorrow; every 
eye was moist with tears and every bosom trembled with heavy 
sighs. I saw on either side of me men of wealth and culture who 
had left their downtown offices to be present, weeping and wailing 
with the rest of the "emotional Jews from Eastern Europe." All 
fractional lines, all internal strife in Jewry disappeared. There were 
neither Orthodox nor Reform, progressives nor conservatives, 
proletariat nor bourgeoisie. All were united in a common brother- 
hood of sorrow. 

138 



JEWISH HEROES 

X 

JEWISH HEROES 

The Chicago Hebrew Institute with Harry A. Lipsky as its super- 
intendent, made great progress in its new quarters on Blue Island 
avenue. Although greatly in need of funds with which to carry on, 
it reflected the real character of the people by whom and for whom 
it was built. Classes in English were organized, a gymnasium was 
fitted out and all kinds of social activities were inaugurated. Miss 
Julia Felsenthal, daughter of Rabbi Felsenthal, was engaged as 
director of the women's activities. Several lecture courses were out- 
lined to be conducted in Yiddish and English. Immigrants of all 
ages came in crowds and filled every room and department. A 
rather amusing incident occurred at that time, the relating of which 
will not have a flattering effect on our national egotism, and cer- 
tainly not on mine. I was asked to deliver a series of lectures on 
Friday evenings. The bulletin board on the sidewalk bore an an- 
nouncement of the series, the title of which was "Heroes in Jewish 
History." During that period Edward Prindeville and I shared law 
offices together. Prindeville had a client, an undertaker, O'Brien 
by name, whose place of business was on Twelfth street near Blue 
Island avenue. One day when O'Brien called to see Prindeville he 
noticed my name on the door and asked : "Say, Ed, is this Bregstone 
the guy who is going to make a speech on ' Jewish Heroes?' ' 

When Prindeville assured him that I was the same, he began to 
laugh scornfully. As a friend of mine, Prindeville rather resented 
the implied contempt in O'Brien's laughter and he rallied to my 
support. In a mildly rebuking manner he remarked: "I don't see 
why you are laughing. Bregstone usually knows his subject and 
speaks pretty well, I guess." "I'm not laughing at that," replied 
O'Brien. "I'm laughing about the subject, 'Jewish Heroes'. Did 
you ever hear of a Jewish hero?" Prindeville tried to convince him 
that the Jews have had many great heroes in the past and he cited 
King David, the Maccabeans, etc. But O'Brien lost his patience and 
interrupted, exclaiming: "To hell with them, if you have to go 
that far back to look for a Jewish hero!" 

139 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

O'Brien didn't know of the great heroism displayed by the fathers 
and brothers who gave their lives in the bloody pogroms of Kishinef 
to protect their children, their sisters and wives. 

XI 

A NEGLECTED DUTY 

The principles of revering the aged and giving protection to chil- 
dren are so universal that they are no longer considered virtues, 
but fundamental, elementary rules of human conduct. In view of 
their inherent love for children, it is not a little surprising that the 
Jews of Chicago had no provision for their orphaned children until 
the spring of 1893. 

For many years previous to this time Chicago Jewish orphans 
were sent to Cleveland, Ohio, where a large and most excellent 
institution was functioning under the guidance of Dr. Samuel 
Wolfenstein, its admirable superintendent. The Cleveland Orphan 
Asylum is an institution originally organized by District No. 2 of 
the Order B'nai B'rith and was dedicated in 1868. Years later Dis- 
trict No. 6, of which the Chicago lodges constitute a part, co- 
operated with District No. 2 to support the Cleveland home. The 
institution offered a true home to its fatherless and motherless 
children and Dr. Wolfenstein endeared himself to his little charges 
with the love and patience of a real father. It is certainly to his 
credit that many of his "children" now occupy prominent positions 
in various walks of life and have contributed greatly to the progress 
of American Jewry in almost every branch of endeavor. 

But notwithstanding the excellence of the orphanage, there was 
no denying the fact, that an arrangement which carried a child 
hundreds of miles away from its early environment and any living 
kin was certainly not a satisfactory one. 

Yet not until the spring of 1893 was a thought given to the found- 
ing of an orphan home in this city. And here again the late 
Abraham Slimmer of Dubuque, Iowa, took the lead. With his 
encouragement a group of capable women organized and applied 
for a charter for "The Chicago Home for Jewish Orphans." The 

140 



A NEGLECTED DUTY 

names that appear on the charter are the Mesdames M. Hecht, A. 
Isaac Radzinski, L. Newberger, E. C. Hamburger and August 
Yondorf. By the end of the year four hundred members had been 
enrolled. 

October 7, 1894, a building was rented and properly furnished 
and the home was opened at 3601 Vernon avenue. Rabbi A. A. 
Lowenheim and his wife were engaged as superintendent and 
matron. Before long, the modest little house on Vernon avenue 
was outgrown and it became necessary to look for larger and more 
adequate quarters. Two years later, Mr. Slimmer offered $25,000 
for a new home, provided a like sum would be raised by Chicago 
Jews. This was accomplished and the present site, on Drexel avenue 
and Sixty-second street was purchased and the new building erected. 
Adjacent land was gradually acquired and the Home expanded 
proportionately. 

In March, 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Deutelbaum, formerly 
assistants to Dr. Wolfenstein in the Cleveland Orphan Asylum, 
were placed in charge of the new Chicago Home. It is an interest- 
ing coincidence that Mrs. Leopold Deutelbaum who served in the 
capacity of Matron of the orphan home is the sister of Adolph 
Kurz, well-known lawyer and philanthropist, who is the head of 
the Child Home Finding Society, an organization strongly opposed 
to all orphanages. However, brother and sister do not conflict in 
the pursuance of what each feels to be an ideal. 

During the thirty-six years of its existence, the home has been 
served by some of the most notable men and women who have 
been on its Board of Directors. Those who are in charge of the 
institution at present are: Samuel B. Steele, president; William 
Wilhartz, vice president; Mrs. M. Gresham, second vice president; 
A. G. Ballenberg, secretary; James E. Greenebaum, treasurer, and 
the following directors: Emanuel J. Block, C. L. Gallman, Samuel 
Deutsch, Mrs. Moise Dreyfus, Richard J. Fleischman, Mrs. Jacob 
W. Gimbel, Albert Hoefeld, Julius H. Meyer, Mrs. Samuel Nast, 
Mrs. H. D. Oppenheimer, Melville N. Rothschild, Mrs. Hubert 
Silberman, Mrs. J. H. Simon, Samuel E. Spiesberger, Mrs. S. B. 
Steele, Gardner Stern, Mrs. Leo Straus, Miss May Weisman, Leo- 

141 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

■ 
pold Deutelbaum and A. I. Radzinski, honorary director. The 

governing staff consists of Bernard H. Freeman, superintendent; 

Mrs. B. H. Freeman, Matron and Miss Sarah Anixter, nurse. 

Leopold Deutelbaum, who retired about a year ago as superin- 
tendent of the Home, was born in Hungary in 1863. He graduated 
from the Gymnasium and later from the Royal Teachers' Seminary, 
of Budapest which awarded him a teacher's diploma. For a brief 
period he was principal of a public school and professor of religion 
in the Gymnasium of Boszormeny. He came to the United States 
in July, 1890, and went to Milwaukee to enter the National Ger- 
man-American Teachers Seminary. He moved to Cleveland in 
1892, and remained associated with the orphan asylum there until 
1900 when he came to Chicago to assume the duties of superin- 
tendent of the Home. 

From the time of its opening, in 1894, until January, 1930, the 
Chicago Orphan Home cared for more than eleven hundred chil- 
dren. When Leopold Deutelbaum retired as superintendent, after 
thirty years of splendid service, the Board of Directors honored him 
by electing him a member of the Board. 

XII 

NEW GERMANY 

I attended services in a Reform Temple on Yom Kippur eve. I 
was filled with an overwhelming emotion. The poignant sadness 
of that holy day made itself felt even more keenly in the surround- 
ings of soft subdued lights, freshly cut flowers on the altar, hand- 
somely carved pews and deep-piled carpets. Music filled the noble 
edifice; the deep tones of the organ, emanating from hidden pipes 
seemed to come from every corner. From some invisible source 
sounded the notes of a violin playing an obligato and soon these 
were joined by the clear liquid tones of a beautiful contralto voice 
which together with the violin and organ, produced a harmony 
rich and sweet. There was a haunting familiarity about the music, a 
certain strain strongly reminiscent of the Kol Nidrei which tells a 
weird mystic story of the past; the Kol Nidrei which recalls to 

142 



NEW GERMANY 

memory a two-thousand-year-old tragedy; the Kol Nidrei that has 
been chanted for centuries by Jews the world over. When the 
music ended, a spell was broken and I emerged from the trance 
and became conscious of the people around me. The faces I saw 
were those of Russian Jews whom I had known not so very long be- 
fore as dwellers of the West Side Ghetto! These Jews could only 
recently have become members of the Temple! Not many years 
before I had seen these same men and women at congregations, 
with unpronounceable names. Alas! It could not have been by the 
process of evolution that these people had advanced mentally to the 
stage where they sought a more rational and esthetic form of wor- 
ship. In a suspiciously short time they had managed to shake off 
the old medieval fanaticism. The transformation had come too soon 
to be convincing and the only logical explanation was that they 
were socially ambitious. 

I have a high respect for honest opinions, even when they are 
opposed to my own, but I cannot understand or sympathize with 
people who change their views as they change their garments, with 
the passing mode. 

The South Side of those days was known as the residential district 
of the elite, the Jewish aristocracy. The two classes of Jews, the 
German and the Russian, were distinguished by their locale and 
soon came to be known as "West Side Jews" and "South Side Jews." 
It became not uncommon for a West Side Jew who had acquired 
wealth and was eager to obtain social prestige, to move to the South 
Side. If he happened to be the father of marriageable children, his 
next step was to join a Temple. By these two operations he became 
a "Deutscher Yahude." Thus, many of the "old families" can trace 
their ancestry directly to "Kalvarie." 

There was, however, another class of Russian Jew who invaded 
the South Side. Those who constituted the latter class, were not 
climbers, they did not seek to run away from their former friends 
and poor relations. Nor were they looking for advantageous mar- 
riages for their sons or daughters. They came to the South Side to 
eke out a livelihood, establishing small businesses along the high- 
ways and thoroughfares. These people believed in the religion of 

143 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

their forefathers and tenaciously clung to orthodoxy. Like the Jews 
the world over, as soon as they could count a "Minion" they organ- 
ized a congregation. The first Orthodox congregation on the South 
Side was the "South Side Hebrew Congregation," which came into 
being in 1888. 

For ten years after it was organized, it had no house of worship 
in which to offer prayers. Services were held in the South Side 
Turner Hall, which was located on State street near Thirty-first 
street. Rabbi H. Farber was its first spiritual leader but his term 
was of short duration. He was succeeded by Rabbi M. Ungerleiter, 
who later became superintendent of the Michael Reese Hospital. 
Upon his resignation as Rabbi, Dr. Samuel N. Deinard became his 
successor and filled the pulpit until 1902, when he accepted a call 
from the Reform Temple in Minneapolis. He in turn was succeeded 
by Dr. A. B. Yudelson. During the term of Dr. Deinard, the con- 
gregation acquired the site on Indiana avenue and Thirty-fifth 
street, where it erected its own Synagogue. 

The Conservative school of Judaism was still unknown; it was 
before Dr. Schechter became the head of the Jewish Theological 
Seminary, of New York. But Dr. Deinard and Dr. Yudelson 
adopted the Conservative methods of service in their congrega- 
tions; i.e., services were conducted partly in Hebrew and partly in 
English. Men and women sat together. As the members of the 
congregation kept moving further South, their place of worship 
had to be moved as well. At the suggestion of Dr. Yudelson the 
South Side Hebrew Congregation disposed of its Indiana avenue 
property, acquired the northeast corner of Michigan avenue and 
Fifty-ninth street and proceeded to build a community center. This 
was of great significance in the cultural development of Chicago 
Jews. Dr. Yudelson was a Hebrew scholar, a Maskil endowed with 
keen perception and an adherent to the cause of modern Zionism. 
He saw that the salvation of American Judaism lay in Jewish 
Nationalism, which could be effected amongst the Jewish youth of 
America only through education. He was one of the first to sponsor 
the universal teaching of the Hebrew language, not only for reli- 
gious purposes but for secular learning as well. The community 

144 






RABBI AND DOCTOR 

center was erected with that aim in view and was constructed 
more as a modern school than a Synagogue. 

XIII 

RABBI AND DOCTOR 

The great Rabbis of old, among whom were many artisans and 
craftsmen, declared that the Torah must not be made an instru- 
ment with which to earn a livelihood. Dr. Albert B. Yudelson, a 
student of Talmudic lore, conscientiously abided by this Talmudic 
injunction. When he came to Chicago in 1902, to assume the pulpit 
of the South Side Hebrew Congregation, he matriculated as a 
student in the medical school of Northwestern University. 

Dr. Yudelson was born in Suvalk, August 2, 1872. He attended 
Cheder up to the age of eleven and then entered the Yeshivah. 
Parallel with those studies ran his preparations for the Gymnasium 
for which he was tutored by private instructors. After Bar Mitzvah 
he continued his studies in the Yeshivah as well as those in the 
Gymnasium. At the age of twenty-one, he came to the United 
States with his parents, brothers and sisters. The family made their 
home in Troy, N. Y. There Yudelson became the principal of the 
Hebrew Free School, a position which he occupied for four years, 
during which time he studied English. In 1896, he accepted a 
similar position in the Patterson Hebrew Free School in Patterson, 
N. J. His next move was to New York City, where he entered 
the State University. In 1900, he left the university to accept a posi- 
tion as Director of the Jewish Educational Society of Brooklyn. In 
1901 he passed the Regent's examination and was awarded the 
degree of A. B. 

His public activities began with his coming to Chicago. Dr. 
Yudelson was admitted to the practice of medicine in 1906, but he 
continued his work in the Rabbinate until 1910. Immediately after 
he resigned from the pulpit he devoted himself entirely to the 
practice of medicine, specializing in neuro-psychopathic cases. Dr. 
Yudelson holds a professorship on the medical faculty of North- 

145 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

western University; he is Attending Neurologist at both Wesley 
Memorial and Cook County Hospitals. 

Late in 1917, he enlisted in the United States army and was sent 
to France, where he served as Neuro-Psychiatrist in charge of a 
hospital for mentally unbalanced service men, at La Fache and 
Marn. 

Dr. Yudelson identified himself with modern Zionism soon after 
he came to Chicago. He keenly felt the need of Jewish education 
for the young and as Rabbi he strained every effort to establish in 
his own community a daily Hebrew school to be conducted along 
the lines of modern pedagogical principles. The new community 
house with its modern school was completed in 1915. After Dr. 
Yudelson resigned from his position as healer of souls to become a 
healer of the afflictions of the mind his interest in Hebrew schools 
did not wane. It is significant that when Rabbi Margolis, his suc- 
cessor, and later Rabbi Aaron Cohen, who followed Rabbi Margo- 
lis, were engaged by the trustees of the Temple, it was expressly 
agreed that the Rabbi must not in any way interfere with the school 
but must leave its management to Dr. Yudelson. At that period 
Nathan D. Kaplan moved to the South side. Dr. Yudelson, Kaplan 
and Moses Krieger, president of the South Side Hebrew Congre- 
gation, started a movement to consolidate all the congregational 
schools under one head, to work out a uniform curriculum and 
conduct them on a modern systematic plan. When an appeal was 
made to the Jewish residents of the South side for the necessary 
funds to carry out the plan, the appeal was generously answered 
and large sums of money were contributed, which was the 
strongest proof that the community was heartily in favor of the 
plan. In spite of my reluctance to direct the blame to those who 
thwarted this laudable enterprise, I should be unworthy of my 
task if I were to withhold the truth: the Orthodox Rabbis alone 
were responsible for frustrating the plan of Jewish Education on 
the South side, where so much precious energy was spent in build- 
ing an educational system that would have served as an example not 
only for Chicago but for all Jewish communities throughout the 
United States. 

146 



RABBI AND DOCTOR 

When Dr. Yudelson left for France, Nathan D. Kaplan took over 
the superintendence of the South Side Hebrew Educational School. 
The active head of the school, however, even before Dr. Yudelson 
left, was a woman, Leah Levinson. This young woman gave the 
school an important position in her life. Born and reared in a home 
of wealth and culture where she was given the advantages of a 
higher education, she grew into womanhood with the desire to help 
others to obtain the benefits of an education. She gave her services 
to the Chicago Hebrew Institute and there received her first train- 
ing as a social worker. While Dr. Yudelson was searching about 
for a dependable superintendent for his new daily Hebrew school 
he met Miss Leah Levinson and found in her the exact qualifica- 
tions which he sought. 

Social workers are not trained, they are born. The ability to adapt 
oneself to that particular kind of work must come from within. It 
is possible to teach the rules and science of social work, but training 
alone, without sympathy, understanding and all the other qualities 
that come from the heart, can never make a successful social worker. 
Leah Levinson's career as superintendent of the South Side Hebrew 
Educational School was a most remarkable success. Even now, 
eight years after her resignation from that position, she is still inter- 
ested in the lads who attended the school. Grown to manhood, her 
former pupils still have need of her counsel and friendship. Many 
of them come to her office to consult her and discuss with her mat- 
ters which they consider of utmost importance to them. 

Miss Levinson is now the Executive Secretary of the Chicago 
branch of the Council of Jewish Women, a position offering a 
larger sphere of activity than that of superintendent of the school, 
but one, nevertheless, which I feel is still not equal to her capacity. 
The almost limitless energy at her command should be utilized to 
far greater advantage. 

The South Side Hebrew Congregation has moved to the South 
Shore district and its model school is closed, but we need shed no 
tears. Dr. Yudelson's endeavors were not in vain. His great dream 
for Jewish Education in this city has attained reality, and is even 
more universal than his most extravagant anticipation could have 

147 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

foreseen. The work is going forward under the capable direction 
of Dr. Dushkin. 

XIV 

THE SOUTH SIDE 

I was about to abandon for the present my account of the spiritual 
growth of the South Side and return to the West Side, where life is 
more intensive, where men struggle for an existence and fight for 
principles. Where the spirit of Americanism has not yet entirely 
penetrated and some dreamers still walk the streets at night deeply 
absorbed in discussions of the problems of government, political 
economy, philosophy, the arts and sciences, in. short, all the subjects 
relative to a full life. Where people buy books to read and not to 
adorn their book shelves. Where there are ideas in fanaticism and 
fanaticism in ideas. Back to that West Side inhabited almost en- 
tirely by foreigners. But it is difficult to part with the South Side, 
which is at once cosmopolitan and puritanic. Where virtue and sin 
hover side by side. The extremes of beauty and ugliness never came 
closer together than they do on the South Side. Knowledge and 
ignorance have strong fortresses in its midst. Untold wealth and 
the very depths of poverty abide in close proximity. I often think 
that God created the Gan-Eden on the South Side, but the Devil 
grew jealous and brought Hell to its very edge. 

One of the most beautiful parts of the South Side is that known 
as the Hyde Park district. It is hemmed in on the west by the wall 
of trees and foliage which is Washington Park and touched on the 
southeast by Jackson Park. The Midway, with its beautiful Gothic 
buildings which comprise the University of Chicago, bounds it on 
the south and its eastern edge is washed by the waves of Lake 
Michigan. As for the fourth boundary, Hyde Park is like Ibsen's 
definition of the stage: "a room with the fourth wall knocked 
down so that the spectators may see what goes on within the en- 
closure." A tragic wall is this missing one, for it discloses a district 
in which is lodged a great part of Chicago's underworld and the 

148 



THE SOUTH SIDE 

portion of the South Side which was becoming "Little Germany" 
has changed its character to that of "Black Africa." 

The Hyde Park district shelters two Reform Temples, one strictly 
Orthodox Synagogue and one which is neither Orthodox nor Re- 
form, but vaguely Conservative. It is "Rodfei Zedek" and is located 
on Greenwood avenue at 54th place. Benjamin Daskel is its Rabbi. 

The Knesseth Anshe Maariv is the oldest Reform congregation 
in the city. Its history will be treated in a future chapter. Isaiah- 
Israel, or as it is called, the "Temple," is located on Hyde Park 
boulevard at Greenwood avenue. 

The Beth Hamedrash Hagodel Anshe Dorum is an Orthodox 
congregation which did not sway -one iota from the old Orthodox 
ritual and traditions. It is a descendant of several of the oldest 
Orthodox congregations in Chicago. Several years ago the congre- 
gation built a pretentious Synagogue on Indiana avenue and Fifty- 
first street. The congregation grew in numbers and in influence, 
but the invasion of the colored race into the neighborhood drove 
the Jews farther east and the erstwhile Synagogue together with 
its school building had to be sold. The Beth Hamedrash Hagodel 
moved into Hyde Park. It acquired an old mansion on the corner 
of Greenwood avenue and Fifty-fourth street and remodeled it into 
a temporary house of worship. 

Rabbi Eliezer Ruvin Muskin, its spiritual leader, one of the 
youngest and most energetic Rabbis of the old school, received his 
Rabbinical degree in the famous Yeshivah of Slobodka. He has 
consequently aggressively devoted himself to the enforcement of 
the Talmudic and Rabbinical laws. He waged a ruthless war 
against Kosher butchers who practiced deception on the public by 
selling Trofe meats. The movement won the sympathy of even 
those who no longer observed the ritualistic dietary laws. But Rabbi 
Muskin and the Association of. Orthodox Rabbis, of which he has 
been secretary for many years, proved too zealous in their "drive" 
when they caused a penal statute to be enacted by the State Legis- 
lature, making such deceit a quasi-criminal offense. The danger of 
such a move lies in its tendency to place the disposal of religious 
matters in the hands of the State. 

149 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Isaac Daniels has been the President of Beth Hamedrash Hagodel 
for many years. 



XV 

THE VOICE OF YOUTH 

New blood continued to pour into America from across the Atlan- 
tic, bringing with it new ambitions, new ideas and new ideals. In 
1897, a twelve-year-old boy came to the United States with his 
parents from Libau Kurland, then a province of Russia. His name 
was Max Shulman. A year later I attended the Bar Mizwah cere- 
mony of this immigrant youth in the Synagogue Chebrah Mishnah 
Ug'mora. It was an extraordinary event, for the lad was to deliver 
a "Pilpul" (a dissertation of Talmudic Scholasticism). I listened 
attentively to this child who cited whole passages from the Talmud 
Mishnah and the Bible and quoted sayings of the great Rabbonim, 
Tanoyim and Amoroyim, wherein he pointed out many major 
contradictions and paradoxes. Steadily he proceeded, building up 
arguments and tearing them down, producing quotations from ob- 
scure sources to sustain his premises, his brow furrowed with the 
intentness of his effort to reconcile the obvious contradictions of 
the Talmud. 

He discoursed at great length and the large audience, composed 
mostly of Talmudic scholars, was deeply engrossed in the Pilpul. 
I can not forget the scene and the impression this boy made on me 
holding an assembly of men silently absorbed in the intricacies of 
his arguments. 

Max Shulman continued his Talmudic studies in the Chebrah 
Mishnah Ug'mora and later in the Yeshivah Ez Chayim. At the 
same time he attended public school and after graduating from 
high school he entered Marshall Law school. In 1905 he received 
the degree of LL.B. and a year later the degree of LL.M. for post- 
graduate work from the same school. 

In the last days of the nineteenth century, three young men pre- 
paring for professional careers organized the Herzl Literary Club. 
The three were Max Shulman, Dr. George Rosenzweig and 

150 



THE VOICE OF YOUTH 

Michael Gesas. The club was organized for literary purposes, but 
its chief aim was to promulgate Zionism among American Jewish 
youth. The three leaders of the Herzl Literary Club differed vastly 
in their mental make-up. Dr. George Rosenzweig belonged to the 
type of romantic dreamer, to whom a beautiful phrase meant more 
than all theory. He possessed a clear, resonant voice and an en- 
gaging personality, which he developed into effective oratorical 
powers and so became a forceful propagandist. Michael Gesas, who 
gave promise of becoming an important figure in the movement 
some day, transferred his activity to a different field. His analytical 
mind, his capacity for logical reasoning and his American birth 
were important factors in the early days of the movement, but he 
utilized these qualities in the practice of the legal profession, where 
he achieved great material success. 

Max Shulman was always the practical idealist. To him the idea 
of Jewish Nationalism was not to be disputed: it was a matter of 
natural historic events and would eventually become a reality. Just 
how the materialization would be brought about did not concern 
him. According to his view it was no subject on which to philoso- 
phize, nor was it the stuff of which dreams are woven. In the true 
sense, he was the child of the old Talmudic school: "Messiah will 
come!" "The Lord has many messengers to carry out His will." 
It is not for us to question Him how Palestine would be acquired 
by the Jewish people, nor what form of government they would 
inaugurate. Even the form of the Zionist organization did not mat- 
ter to him, his main interest lay only in doing work such as would 
hasten the Gehulah. 

Max Shulman had an unlimited capacity for work. He succeed- 
ed in surrounding himself with men who had faith in him and 
believed in his methods. Among these were H. Steinberg, H. L. 
Meites, I. Miller and Samuel Ginsberg. Shulman is completely 
Orthodox in his beliefs. His home is strictly Kosher, and he does 
no work on the Sabbath or on a holy day; on those days he attends 
prayers in the Synagogue. By reason of his religious ardor he was 
destined from the very first to become a leader in the Zionist move- 
ment as well as in all affairs of a Jewish character. His activity in 

151 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the movement for the past quarter of a century contributed much 
to the cause of Zionism, but it did not fail to have its ill effects as 
well. Due to his strongly Orthodox religious tendencies, the more 
progressive element kept aloof from the movement — even those 
who were inclined to sympathize with Jewish nationalism. They 
feared that affiliation with Zionism would place them before the 
world among the reactionary forces. But Shulman disregarded the 
opinions of others and stood at the helm of the ship to lead Mid- 
western Zionism into quiet waters, even though at times the vessel 
came perilously close to destruction. 

By nature, Max Shulman is devoid of the spirit that would lead 
him to the smallest degree of revolt. He seldom fights conditions 
and has never tried to direct the tenor of his life's voyage upstream; 
almost invariably he glides along with the tide. He is even-tem- 
pered and as in his private life so in public life he avoids at all 
costs getting engaged in a quarrel. He may be most bitterly op- 
posed to a certain thing and at times he gives strong expression to 
his disapproval, but he will make no effort to change it to suit his 
taste. To say that he is Orthodox does not adequately describe 
him; his very soul within him is Orthodox. He will suffer no 
change. I recall a Zionist convention in St. Louis, in 1905. A reso- 
lutions committee was named including Shulman, Nathan Kaplan 
and myself. The committee was determined to abolish some of the 
old forms which the organization still practiced and reconstruct it 
on a more modern plan ; to strike out the fraternal feature, to make 
the executive board a smaller but more active body and several 
other changes in order to fashion it more like its sister organization 
of the East. At the first session of the committee an adequate plan 
was worked out in full accord with all the other members present. 
Max Shulman was unavoidably delayed and did not arrive in St. 
Louis until after the committee had agreed on the new organization 
scheme. He was against the change, not because he liked the old 
form or disliked the new one, but simply because he was averse to 
any change. If he had appeared before the committee and asked 
for a rehearing on the subject no one would have objected to such 
a request, but he only expressed his disapproval of the change and 

152 



THE VOICE OF YOUTH 

would say nothing more. However, before the convention was over, 
he did cause his objections to be published in a Chicago newspaper. 

Years later Max Shulman, at the head of a strong group of mid- 
western Zionists, was strongly opposed to the policies of the admin- 
istration of the Federation of American Zionists and was especially 
against Louis Lipsky, president of the organization, but when 
Shulman and his faction reached the convention and found there 
was a strongly organized opposition against Lipsky, he immediately 
joined forces with the Lipsky administration and the latter was re- 
elected. He never confided to any person the reasons for his change 
of mind, but those who know him asked for none; they knew that 
Max Shulman preferred the existing evils of the old leaders to the 
possible benefits of the new. 

By reason of his leadership in Zionist circles he was inevitably 
drawn into participation in all communal affairs, especially those 
of the Orthodox wing. Conversely, by virtue of his standing in 
communal matters, his position in the Zionist ranks was greatly 
strengthened. Every leader is subject to criticism. Even Moses did 
not escape severe censure from those who themselves craved leader- 
ship) — and Max Shulman, who is not a Moses, encountered more 
criticism than most. But it must be admitted that for two decades 
he carried the Zionist movement of Chicago and of some of the 
mid-western states on his own shoulders, and when the history of 
American Zionism will be written a generation hence a great part 
in it will be assigned to Max Shulman. 

It has been often charged that Shulman covets honor and seeks 
to gratify his ego; that he belongs to the type of whom Lord Bacon 
said: "they become slaves of the passion to dominate." If all this 
is true of Max Shulman, he is no different from all other leaders, 
including the greatest and most revered in the chronicles of man- 
kind. The philosophy proclaimed by Herbert Spencer and further 
elaborated by Nietzsche, that the ego motivates the noblest action, 
is a truism beyond refutation, so that the worst that can be said 
about Max Shulman is that he is human. If he is possessed of vanity 
as all of us are, his vanity has been directed towards the uplifting of 

153 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

humanity, towards the betterment of social conditions of his fellow 
men and for the glory of his own people. 

XVI 

A MANY-SIDED PERSONALITY 

There is something of a paradox in every human soul. In fact, 
consistency is fatal to progress, and conformity often retards and 
stagnates civilization. The very complexity of our natures becomes 
the impelling force for progress and advancement. One in whom 
this compound quality is particularly apparent is S. B. Komaiko; 
he is a composite of contrasting emotions. He laughs and cries, 
loves and hates intermittently and even simultaneously. He re- 
minds me of Heine's quasi-serious description of himself: "I am a 
Jew, I am a Christian, a Hebrew and a Greek, a lover of liberty 
and an adorer of despotism as incarnate in Napoleon; a God, a 
beast, a Devil !" 

Komaiko was born in Russia, in the province of Kovno, which 
since the war has become the Republic of Lithuania. At the age of 
eighteen he wandered forth from his native land to seek liberty 
and opportunity. He found both in the United States. In 1899, he 
arrived in New York, where he remained until 1902, when he came 
to Chicago and made his home here. He started in the insurance 
business and after the usual hardships which beset an immigrant 
boy in this land of keen competition and rivalry fortune smiled on 
him and Komaiko prospered. 

Even before success favored him Komaiko became a devoted 
Zionist and an ardent worker in the interest of the Jewish commu- 
nity. A child of the Cheder, he possessed a fair knowledge of 
Hebrew and its literature. A facile pen and a fertile imagination 
urged him to apply a goodly part of his time to journalism. Today 
his weekly letters to the New York "Morning Journal" are read and 
appreciated by Jews throughout the United States. The principal 
merit of his "Letters" is the independence and freedom with which 
he speaks out the truth about everything and everyone regardless 
of the rank and position of the men involved. 

154 



A MANY-SIDED PERSONALITY 

For many years Komaiko gave time and money to the cause of 
Zionism and was a familiar figure in all Zionist affairs. In 1910, he 
married Pauline Stein, the granddaughter of Dr. A. P. Kadison. 
Mrs. Komaiko was born and raised in a small rural town in this 
country and consequently knew little about Jews and Judaism. She 
was introduced to both and became one of the foremost workers 
in Jewish causes. S. B. Komaiko, meanwhile, received from his wife 
a profounder knowledge of American ideals and a deeper under- 
standing of Americanism and what it stands for. After his mar- 
riage, and with the coming of their first child, Komaiko, although 
a Bohemian by nature, deserted the carefree friends of his bachelor- 
hood and the congenial haunts where they had been wont to con- 
gregate and settled down to a serious active existence. 

And now I come to the elements in this man which appear on 
the surface to be contradictory and inconsistent: by birth, descent, 
education and environment he is Orthodox, a lover of traditions, an 
admirer of the old Ghetto-Jew, of the real Ben Torah and Bar 
Urion; and yet, for the sake of his young children, that they might 
have imparted to them the knowledge of Judaism, he shared in 
founding a new temple, Judea, a Reform congregation in the Lawn- 
dale district. A patriotic American, entrusted during the World 
War as food director of the Foreign Division, he was still a Zionist 
whose loyalty to the cause for a Jewish homeland was never doubt- 
ed, and with equal zeal he labored with all his might to obtain a 
seaport for his native land Lithuania, in Memmel. For a time there 
was even serious consideration in the Lithuanian government of 
appointing Komaiko Ambassador to the United States. In 1923, 
Komaiko visited his native land and was received as a guest of the 
Lithuanian Government. During this visit he was greatly instru- 
mental in securing the adjustment of minority rights, a problem 
which had been pending for some time and had involved the Jews 
of Lithuania. He is the only Jewish member on the Executive 
Board of the Lithuanian American National Organization. 

S. B. Komaiko was a member of the Executive Board of the 
Marks Nathan Orphan Home from 1907 to 191 1 and has been a 
trustee of the Beth Moshav Z'kinim since 1912. Recently I met a 

155 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

gentleman from Wilna who was in America in the interests of a 
historical institution. He was a representative member of the intel- 
lectual type of European Jews and his conversation interested me 
greatly. At one point he remarked: "I met here one man who 
made a most favorable impression on me. Though he has been an 
American for many years his Hebraic and Yiddish culture do not 
seem to have suffered neglect; his response to them is most re- 
markable." This summary of Komaiko by a stranger is remarkably 
accurate. There is no phase in Jewish life in which Komaiko is not 
interested. A Chassidic Rabbi or a commission from the Russian 
government receive an equal degree of his attention. The variety 
of his interests makes him an interesting and colorful personality. 

XVII 

ONWARD! ONWARD! 

The story of the farmer who stood watching the launching of one 
of the first steam locomotives is an old one but applicable to our 
subject. He said to a bystander: "They can never make that clumsy 
thing move." The machinery began to work, and when the smoke 
issued forth from the tall chimney and the wheels commenced to 
turn, the farmer shook his head and said: "Now that they have 
started it, they will never be able to stop it." When the Jews from 
Eastern Europe began to build their first philanthropic institution 
in Chicago there were many "farmers" who ventured the wise 
prognostication: "They will never accomplish it, they cannot build 
and maintain a communal institution by themselves." But when the 
wheels began to move and the B. M. Z. seemed likely to become a 
success, the same wise onlookers predicted: "Now that they started 
they will never stop." 

To the credit of the newly-arrived immigrants must it be said 
with great emphasis that the first communal growing pains through 
which they passed were not those of economic development but of 
a purely cultural nature. The Synagogue, the Talmud Torah, the 
Hebrew Literary Society, the Self Educational Club, and the He- 
brew Institute were the first outgrowths of a communal life and 

156 



ONWARD! ONWARD! 

nothing of an economic nature was involved therein. In all of 
these movements was evidenced the Jewish spirit, the insistent 
craving for knowledge and education. And though the very need 
for charity is bitter to the Jewish mind, there are three philanthro- 
pies close to the heart of every Jew. If there is a Trinity in Jewish 
ethics, the hospital, home for the aged and orphange comprise it. 
He reads in the Talmud: "He who rescues one life in Israel be- 
comes a partner to God, for it is as if he created a whole universe"; 
and he builds a hospital. Even the B. M. Z., the first philanthropic 
institution built by Jews of this city, traces its origin back to a 
prayer many centuries old, the prayer recited by H. M. Barnett at 
the first meeting gathered to organize the Home for the Aged: 
"Cast us not aside when we become old, when our strength is ex- 
hausted forsake us not." And so when he completed a Home for 
the Aged, and a hospital to care for the sick his thoughts turned to 
a home to shelter orphaned children. 

In November, 1903, Marks Nathan passed from among the liv- 
ing. He died as he lived, with a pious wish to help the needy and 
helpless. On January 18, 1904, the late Simeon Straus, a well-known 
attorney, filed the last will and testament of Marks Nathan in the 
Probate Court of Cook County. By his will the deceased left a sum 
of thirty thousand dollars for two philanthropic purposes. Fifteen 
thousand dollars were to go to Palestine for the building of apart- 
ments for the use of students of the Talmud too poor to pay rent. 
The second paragraph of the will read as follows: 

"To take $15,000.00, being the balance of the said $30,000.00, and 
use the same to found and establish either a Jewish hospital to be 
conducted with a Kosher and strictly orthodox Jewish kitchen, in 
the city of Chicago, or a Jewish orphan asylum as such Trustees 
may elect, which said orphan asylum shall also be conducted with 
a Kosher and strictly orthodox 'kitchen, in the city of Chicago, pro- 
vided however, and upon express condition that the further sum of 
$15,000.00 shall be raised or subscribed from other sources within 
two years after testator's death, to be used together with the said 
$15,000.00 in founding and establishing either said Jewish hospital 
or orphan asylum. Said trustees or their successors and other persons 

157 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

as they may elect, shall cause the hospital or orphan asylum to be 
incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois, and under the 
name of "Marks Nathan Jewish Hospital" or "Marks Nathan 
Jewish Orphan Asylum," as the case may be. Said trustees or suc- 
cessors in trust shall be members of the first board of directors or 
trustees of such corporation when organized, and the first presi- 
dent and treasurer of such corporation shall be selected from testa- 
tor's trustees herein named or their successors. As soon as the 
$15,000.00 has been raised or subscribed from other sources within 
two years after the testator's death and said corporation has been 
formed, testator's said trustees shall pay over said $15,000.00 to such 
corporation; the same to be used for certain of the necessary build- 
ings and equipment of such hospital or orphan asylum as the case 
may be." 

The will further provided that in the event that the additional 
sum of fifteen thousand dollars was not raised by subscription or 
otherwise within two years after the testator's death, in such case 
the testator's bequest of the second $15,000.00 should also be used 
for apartment buildings in Palestine. 

Rabbi A. G. Lesser, formerly of Chicago, but at that time a resi- 
dent of Cincinnati, Louis Steinberg, Jacob Priviansky and the 
widow of the deceased, Bessie Nathan, were named by the testator 
as trustees. 

Rabbi Lesser came to Chicago a few months after his appoint- 
ment and called a meeting of the other trustees and several out- 
standing communal leaders of Orthodox Jewish Chicago to discuss 
the terms of the will; the meeting was held in the Grand Pacific 
Hotel. There were present, in addition to the trustees, Joseph Phil- 
ipson, B. Baumgarden, Benjamin J. Schiflf, Jacob Levy, Nicholas J. 
Pritzker, Dr. M. Meyerowitz, M. Perlstein and Rabbi Azriel Ep- 
stein. The widow was not present. At the very beginning a strong 
sentiment was evidenced in favor of a Kosher hospital, but Jacob 
Levy and Nicholas Pritzker pleaded the urgency for an orphan 
home. The matter was discussed at considerable length without 
arriving at any decision, and at the adjournment of the meeting the 
matter still hung in abeyance. 

158 



ONWARD! ONWARD! 

Man is primarily the creature of environment. It is not a new 
science which seeks to trace man's predilections for certain occupa- 
tions back to influences in his earlier life. Jacob Levy more than 
any one man is responsible for the building of the Marks Nathan 
Orphan Home. It is not difficult to trace the causes that impelled 
him to make the orphan's cause his own. As a young man, strug- 
gling hard for a livelihood in the city of New York, Jacob Levy 
gave his tenderest care and attention to four of his cousins who had 
been reared in the New York Jewish Orphan Home. Even earlier 
than this, back in Minsk, his native city, he fostered and reared 
three young brothers and the five orphaned sisters of his wife. The 
plight of helpless children had always engaged his attention and 
he dreamed of a time when he could devote all his energies to the 
care of destitute orphans. 

It was the first time in the history of Chicago Orthodox Jewry 
that one of their own had left so large a sum for charity and it 
created a great stir of interest among the people. When Jacob Levy 
left the meeting at the Grand Pacific Hotel he was not dismayed at 
the thought that his long cherished dream had not materialized 
that very evening, but instead he commenced formulating plans to 
utilize this unexpected opportunity towards the fulfillment of his 
dream. He was president of the "Northwest Kranken Unterstitz- 
ungs Verein," a local organization with seven hundred members. 
When he reached his home he retired to his room and commenced 
to juggle figures, computing the amount he must raise. His courage 
grew as he figured how easily he could collect the necessary amount 
from his members, most of whom were fairly affluent; and his 
dream began to take a definite shape. However, in spite of the 
efforts of Mr. Levy and his associates, the summer of 1904 passed 
and nothing was accomplished towards their goal. On November 
24 a meeting was called at the Ohave Sholom Anshe Mariampol 
Synagogue of all the men and women who were interested in sav- 
ing the Marks Nathan bequest for Chicago. From a financial point 
of view the meeting proved a failure; very few contributions were 
obtained. 

The outlook was disheartening. A year had gone by since the 

159 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

death of Marks Nathan and not one single step of progress had 
been made. As a strategic move a charter for an Orthodox Jewish 
Orphan Home was procured on January 5, 1905. 

The cost of the charter was $87.25, a sum far in excess of the 
funds in the hands of the treasurer. The first real encouragement to 
the sponsors of the orphan home came when the "Agudath 
Noshim," a women's organization of seventy-five members, raised 
the largest sum as yet contributed. Five hundred dollars from a 
theatre benefit given at Glickman's was turned over to the treasury 
by the women's club. This happened on April 5, 1905, and only six 
months remained in which to meet the terms of the will. Time 
moves on and waits for nothing; and five months of the remaining 
six joined the other eighteen unproductive months. Only one 
month was left within which to save the situation. On October 5, 
1905, a meeting took place in the Beth Hamidrash Hagodel. 
Among those present were Rabbi Azriel Epstein, Rabbi M. Bud- 
zinsky, Louis Steinberg, Jacob Levy, H. M. Barnett, A. L. Stone, 
M. Perlstein, Wolf Steif, Joseph Rothschild, Louis Isaacson, E. 
Epstein, Jacob Kantor, Azriel Wolpe, M. Ph. Ginsburg, Dr. M. 
Meyerowitz, Sam Steiner, Nicholas Pritzker and A. S. Roe. Joseph 
Rothschild presided and Jacob Kantor, secretary of the Agudath 
Noshim, acted as secretary pro tern. 

Jacob Levy and his followers met with greater success at this 
meeting than at the previous one. His own simple earnest plea 
and the fiery eloquence of Nicholas Pritzker, followed by the apt 
remarks of Dr. Meyerowitz, won the day for them. A committee 
composed of Jacob Levy, Dr. Meyerowitz, and Nicholas Pritzker 
was named to call upon the trustees of the Marks Nathan will to 
ask for an extension of time. The following month the committee 
reported that the trustees were heartily in favor of an orphan home 
and had granted an extension of three months' time. The next 
move was a mass meeting two weeks later in the incompleted 
Northwest Side Talmud Torah, ostensibly for the purpose of rais- 
ing funds, but Jacob Levy and his group had another purpose in 
mind which they did not disclose until long afterwards. They 
cherished a secret hope that the site where the Talmud Torah had 

160 



ONWARD! ONWARD! 

been started but left unfinished because of lack of funds might be 
obtained at a reasonable price and utilized as an orphan home. 
Jacob Levy, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Talmud 
Torah, resolved to bring the proposition to the attention of the 
other members. 

November 27, the officers and board of directors were elected for 
the orphan home that was as yet in the most rudimentary stage. 
Rabbi A. J. G. Lesser was made president; Jacob Levy, acting presi- 
dent; Joseph Rothschild, vice president; Louis Steinberg, treasurer; 
Jacob Kantor, financial secretary; and M. Berger, recording secre- 
tary. Mrs. Bessie Nathan, J. Privian, George Marrock, Louis Isaac- 
son, M. Poncher, Sam Cohen, Wolf Steif, J. Berkson, A. S. Roe, M. 
Perlstein, A. L. Stone and Harris Cohen were elected trustees. The 
following directors were named: Mrs. Adelson, H. M. Barnett, 
J. M. Berkson, A. Haffenberg, D. Koenigsberg, Mrs. Lasdon, H. 
Bolotin, Jacob Cohen, I. Cohen, M. Finkelstein, H. Fischkin, L. 
Feder, Dr. H. L. Frankel, E. Ganz, D. Goldberg, W. Goldstein, B. 
Hindsill, Abe Levin, Mrs. R. Lipschulch, S. Ansky, Nicholas J. 
Pritzker, H. B. Rubenstein, B. Rubenstein, W. S. Silverman, I. 
Shaffer, Mrs. Segal, B. Shapiro, D. Zemansky and W. Zemansky. 

Those of the coming generation who may chance to read this 
chronicle of the beginning of an institution which did not have 
sufficient funds to pay for its charter may marvel at the courage of 
the people and the success of the institution, which has maintained 
and educated one thousand two hundred and thirty-one orphans, 
whose expenditure last year was $140,000.00, and whose total net 
assets amount to a trifle less than a quarter of a million dollars. 
They will hardly realize the tremendous amount of energy and 
sacrifice it required on the part of men and women whose own in- 
comes were meager and who were compelled to work hard for the 
support of their own little ones, but who unhesitatingly assumed 
the responsibility for the care of children bereft of their parents. 

The names of Jacob Levy, Nicholas Pritzker, Wolf Steif, A. 
Salzer, L. Feder and George Marrock will stand out in the history 
of philanthropy among the Russian Jews of Chicago. 

The structure originally intended for a Talmud Torah was ac- 

161 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

quired and completed, but it soon proved inadequate to accommo- 
date the many applicants. Three years after the founding of the 
Marks Nathan Orphan Home a tract of land was purchased on 
Albany avenue north of Ogden avenue and a new home more 
spacious and commodious than the first was built. 

XVIII 

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS 

Shmaryah Levin, discussing Zionism at the dinner table of Julius 
Rosenwald, said to his host: "I could, convert one member of your 
family to the cause of Zionism, but I should first have to remove 
your wife from her husband's influence." One Sunday morning, in 
1917, the telephone at my elbow rang and when I lifted the receiver 
to my ear I heard the voice at the other end of the line announce 
that Mrs. Julius Rosenwald was speaking. She was calling, she said, 
at the request of her friend, Mary Antin, whose letter she had just 
received informing her that she was coming to Chicago for a week's 
visit during which she would like to meet and address the Zionists 
of the city. I had met Mrs. Rosenwald on several previous occa- 
sions, but when Mary Antin arrived we met more often in the com- 
pany of our mutual friend and the subject of our conversation was 
almost invariably Zionism. These friendly arguments led me to the 
conclusion that Mrs. Alfred K. Stern, the daughter of Mrs. Rosen- 
wald, gauged her mother's attitude with more accuracy than 
Shmaryah Levin. Mrs. Stern said to me, not long ago: "My mother 
was not a Zionist, but her warm sympathies for all lofty things and 
for people who are followers of high ideals naturally attracted her 
and brought her close to a group which happened to be interested in 
the cause of Zionism. She enjoyed immensely the sort of conversa- 
tion which embraced worth-while subjects. Gossip and petty scan- 
dals simply did not interest her. She sought out people who could 
contribute to the rich colorful pattern of her life. And these she 
found in such men as Aaron Aronson and Shmaryah Levin." 

The limited knowledge at my command of the life of Mrs. Rosen- 
wald is sufficient to convince me that she deserves a place in this 

162 



MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS 

history by reason of her own merits and independent of her position 
as the wife of Julius Rosenwald. Her own individual contribution 
to the culture and wellbeing of the community entitles her to a 
page of her own in this volume. 

Mrs. Julius Rosenwald (nee Augusta Nussbaum) was born sixty- 
one years ago in Plattsburg, New York. She was reared in an at- 
mosphere of culture and refinement. In the home of her parents 
there was a decided tendency towards assimilation, but her own in- 
clinations were strongly for her own people. After her marriage 
her associations were almost exclusively with people of her own 
race. When fortune began to favor her husband Augusta Rosen- 
wald did not indulge herself in a* life of luxury, as many women are 
inclined to do. Instead she followed her husband's example and 
tried in her own way to alleviate some of the distress existing in the 
world about her. And here again I quote her youngest daughter: 
"She was an inspiration to my father in his philanthropic enter- 
prises," but her warm-hearted sympathies found expression in un- 
tiring activity in charitable undertakings of her own. 

Augusta Rosenwald was no artist in the sense of creative art, but 
she possessed the true artistic temperament. Beauty in every sense 
and form made a tremendous appeal to her. She loved flowers and 
made an extensive study of them. She herself planted and culti- 
vated most of the flowers in the beautiful garden of her home in 
Highland Park. She was never known to be idle — unless one would 
call the time spent in her garden or with her friends idle hours. She 
disliked solitude and loved company, but in her choice of friends, 
too, she was different from most women, surrounding herself with 
interesting, alert personalities like her own. She was a gracious 
hostess, possessed of the true spirit of hospitality. Her dinners were 
brilliant affairs, sparkling with conversation, natural and unforced, 
which emanated from the fertile intellects of the assembled guests. 
She was always a splendid listener, but in her clubs and her organi- 
zations she did not hesitate to express freely her ideas and opinions. 
She was diplomatic and tactful, but she always said exactly the 
things she wanted to say. 

The interests of Mrs. Rosenwald were manifold; her husband's 

163 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

philanthropies took much of her time, especially the Chicago He- 
brew Institute, Michael Reese Hospital and the University for 
negroes. The Girl-Scouts was an organization in which she figured 
independently of her husband. She was a pioneer in originating 
and promoting the idea of Visiting Nurses and in addition to all 
her other activities she found time to bring into the world two sons 
and three daughters, to all of whom she gave the loving guidance 
which has brought them to a splendid manhood and womanhood. 
Her daughters are married and have families of their own to whom 
to pass on her ideals: Adele is the wife of Doctor David Levy; 
Edith is Mrs. Edgar Stern and Marian is Mrs. Alfred K. Stern. Her 
sons, Lessing J. and William, are also married and are making 
their own places in the business world as well as in philanthropic 

circles. 

# # # # # 

A woman of imposing personality and with a will quite her 
own is Mrs. Edwin Romberg. She was born fifty-one years ago at 
2213 Calumet avenue, Chicago, in what was at that period the most 
exclusive and fashionable section in Chicago. Shalah was the only 
child of Lazarus Silverman, a prominent banker during the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century. Her father came from Bavaria, 
where he was brought up under the influence of a religious and 
scholarly father and a pious mother. Lazarus inherited an Hebraic 
background from his parents and a general culture from his early 
environment, a heritage which he transmitted to his daughter 
Shalah. Her mother, Hannah Sachs, born and raised in our own 
South, imbibed the culture, traditions and virtues that are identified 
with Southern womanhood in this country. 

These two people, Hannah and Lazarus Silverman, lavished all 
of their attention and devotion on their only child Shalah. She 
received her early education in the public schools of Chicago, at- 
tended the Dearborn Seminary and was sent abroad to complete 
her education. She spent four years in Belgium, two years in Frank- 
furt am Main and one year in England. She returned to the 
United States and in 1899 married Col. Edwin Romberg of New 
York. For several years after their marriage they made their home 

164 



MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS 

in New York, but for more than a quarter of a century they have 
been living in Chicago. Soon after Mrs. Romberg returned to her 
native city she began to take an interest in Jewish welfare work. 

It was Olive Schreiner who said: "A woman must run along 
with the flock or she will fall by the wayside." But Shalah Romberg 
decided long ago that running along with the flock was not in her 
line and she had certainly no intentions of falling by the wayside. 
She has a creative mind and uses it to good advantage. She has 
ideas that are original and she is eager to test them, with the inev- 
itable result that in the old established institutions clinging tena- 
ciously to their old customs and practices and permitting no inno- 
vations or change, Mrs. Romberg is regarded as an outlaw of the 
most revolutionary type. Perhaps another woman in her place 
would have fallen by the wayside long ago, but opposition only 
strengthens her determination. Let her opponents beware when 
she takes up the cudgels in behalf of a worthy cause! For she is 
uncompromisingly resolute in maintaining her principles. She is 
actuated by an earnestness of purpose and a firm conviction in the 
essential rightness of the ideas for which she stands. Her strongest 
enemy is organized charity or as she puts it: "Monopolized Char- 
ity." She is resourceful, daring and even heroic in her manner of 
attack, and in most of her battles she emerges the victor. She saved 
the Maimonides Hospital when it was on the verge of collapse, in 
spite of the powerful opposition from the Associated Jewish Char- 
ities. She encountered a tremendous amount of resistance when 
she was president of the north-west side Hebrew Institute and she 
is now engaged in a bitter struggle in behalf of the North-west side 
Infants' Day Nursery. In spite of the many antagonisms Mrs. 
Edwin Romberg encountered in the years of her excellent social 
service, she has been identified with most of the leading Jewish 
organizations in an active capacity. She was president of the Con- 
ference of Jewish Woman's Clubs, one of the founders of the Ruth 
club, a member of the Johannah Lodge, for many years an ardent 
worker and president of Mount Sinai Hospital, president of the 
Dramatic Club, president of the Educational Alliance, honorary 
president of the Institute Woman's Club, president of the Mid- 
165 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

western Women's Jewish Congress Conference and president of the 
Infant's Home and Day Nursery. 

One outstanding feature in the many charitable and cultural ac- 
tivities of Mrs. Edwin Romberg, and considered by many her 
greatest achievement, was the popularizing of classical music. 
Through her efforts an opportunity was afforded to the poorer 
class of people to hear the compositions of the great masters for a 
negligible sum. It was long before the radio had come into being 
and even the grafaphone was still a luxury, owned by the very rich. 
Through only two mediums was classical music available to the 
public : the opera and the symphony orchestra, both of which were 
out of reach of the meager income of the ordinary wage-earner. 

Alexander Zukovsky, who has since become a favorite of Chicago 
music lovers, was newly-arrived from Russia and unknown. He 
and his family were victims of a pogrom which stripped him of 
everything but his violin. He spoke no other language than Rus- 
sian, but his violin was more linguistic. By chance he met Mrs. 
Romberg, who at the time was president of the Institute Woman's 
Club. She heard him play and was captivated by the quality of his 
tone, his mastery of the instrument and by the soul that spoke 
through the four strings. She arranged that he and six other musi- 
cians should furnish a series of Sunday afternoon concert ensembles 
at the Hebrew Institute. She agreed with Dr. Blaustein, superin- 
tendent of the Institute, that the nominal sum of ten cents be 
charged for admission and that she herself would be liable for any 
deficit. The first concert proved a complete failure. Besides the 
musicians, twenty people were present in the large auditorium. 
Neither Mrs. Romberg nor Zukovsky were discouraged, but contin- 
ued the Sunday afternoon concerts until they became an event 
eagerly awaited by the music-loving public which was drawn to 
the Hebrew Institute in ever-increasing numbers. 

Soon after this experiment of Mrs. Romberg's, almost every social 
settlement in the city adopted a similar plan and concerts of that 
kind became a feature in every neighborhood, thereby enriching 
the cultural fabric of many lives. 

Although Mrs. Romberg has had a somewhat militant career as 

166 



MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS 

a worker in social and communal affairs, she is truly feminine, kind, 

charming and versed in the almost lost art of hospitality. 

# # # # # 

I have known Esther Weinshenker for many years, almost as 
long as I have known Chicago. She was one of the first women I 
became acquainted with on my arrival in this city and we remained 
warm friends, until two years ago when she was snatched from us 
and passed out of earthly existence. And yet it is not because of 
our long friendship that I am devoting these lines to her. I consider 
her contribution to Jewish culture of an outstanding quality and 
value. She was a cleverly gifted conversationalist, witty and humor- 
ous and yet always. sustained by a sound logic. Her schooling was 
meager, but no one ever detected her educational limitations. She 
possessed a charm which caused her to be singled out in almost 
any gathering and yet not even her most ardent admirers would 
credit Esther Weinshenker with unusual beauty. 

She came to the United States in 1886 with her father, Tuvia 
Weinshenker, her mother and several sisters and brothers. Her 
father was a well-to-do merchant from Russian-Poland who mi- 
grated to the Western part of the U. S. attracted by the new Baron 
de Hirsch Agricultural colonization scheme. He soon became dis- 
couraged with the project and moved to Chicago, where he engaged 
in the manufacture of mattress. 

Esther's debut into communal and social work began with the 
Zionist movement in Chicago. She was the first of her sex to join 
the nationalist cause and she gave to it all the energy at her com- 
mand. To espouse the cause of Zionism in the present era, is 
relatively easy as compared with the sacrifices such a course de- 
manded thirty years ago, but Esther Weinshenker ignored the 
criticism, antagonism and scorn which she met on every hand. Her 
participation in the Zionist movement made her feel a real daughter 
in Israel, a sister to Miriam and Deborah. 

After she organized the "Clara de Hirach Gate" of the Order 
Knights of Zion, she became interested in the literature of her 
people, an interest which grew to embrace all literature. Avidly, 
eagerly, constantly, she read, always anxious to improve herself, to 

167 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

increase her knowledge. She was the first woman to join Nathan 
D. Kaplan's campaign for a Chicago Hebrew Institute and for 
many years she served as president of the Institute Woman's Club. 
She was among the first women of Russian descent to join the 
Council of Jewish Women and for a long period acted on the 
Board of Directors of that organization. 

In 1905 Esther Weinshenker married Isidor Natkin, a man in- 
terested in many of the same things which claimed her attention. 
The compatability of their interests bound them closely together 
and Esther had the support of his approval to help her in her ever- 
increasing activities. Their mutual love of books and their faith in 
Zionism drew them more closely together. For years they read and 
studied in perfect harmony with each other. In 1923, Isidor Natkin 
died and his wife took a position as executive secretary of the 
Kehilath Jacob Hebrew School. In a few years it became, through 
her efforts, the leading Hebrew school on the West and Northwest 
side. Death curtailed the activities of this remarkable woman. In 
1928, she was suddenly taken ill and in a few days she passed to 
the great beyond. 

XIX 

MEN WHO DARED 

The history of civilization is the story of men who dared. Every 
advance of human progress has been accomplished by men of 
courage. From the earliest dawn of civilization to the most recent 
time all steps forward have been made by men brave enough to 
forsake the beaten path. A casual retrospect brings forth to the 
mental eye a most remarkable galaxy of men of daring: Moses, 
Mohammed, Confucius and Christ in the world of religion and 
ethics; Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Giordano Bruno and Spinoza, in 
the world of thought and philosophy; Washington and Lincoln, to 
name only two of the countless heroes of every country and every 
age who have dared to free their compatriots from injustice and 
bondage. Who can name all the men who dared in the field of 
science and invention? Their names were not always recorded in 

168 



MEN WHO DARED 

the annals of history, and only rarely did humanity gratefully 
acknowledge its debt for their achievements. More often they were 
condemned to drink the cup of hemlock, to be nailed to the cross 
or burned at the stake. Not infrequently they were the victims of 
the assassin's bullet. The most lenient judgment condemned them 
to excommunication or banishment. At no time did society deal 
with these men too kindly, for society has always looked askance 
at any deviation from its well-worn concepts. 

The entire career of Jacob M. Loeb is marked with daring. His 
material success in life is due to daring as is the success of every 
one of the endeavors by which he has distinguished himself. Jacob 
M. Loeb was born in Chicago, September 17, 1875. He did not 
come into the world as the Duchess of Orleans describes the entry 
of her son, the Prince Regent. All the fairies were not bidden to his 
cradle, and the gossips were not profuse with their gifts. Jacob 
Loeb was received neither as prince nor as child of the muses. The 
valuable gifts which he possesses he received from his parents. 
From his mother, Johanna, he acquired his strong sympathies for 
his fellow men and his passion for service to humanity; and from 
Moritz, his father, came the heritage of a fine physique : the splendid 
head set on its massive shoulders which gives him an uncommon 
appearance. The qualities of daring he acquired in the school of 
life, where he served diligently as an apt pupil. His inner makeup 
fully corresponds with his appearance. It is therefore obvious that 
Loeb was not made to be commanded, coerced or ruled. The at- 
tributes of commanding, ruling and ordering are his. Democratic 
in spirit though he is, his presence inspires awe and produces a 
feeling of deference and respect. 

After graduating from grammar school Loeb attended business 
college. At the age of fifteen he obtained employment in Mandel 
Brothers' department store on State street. However, he was des- 
tined for greater things than an employee in a department store. He 
did not remain long in that position but left to enter the insurance 
business. In 1894 he organized the business firm of Loeb & Coffey 
and in 1896 the name was changed to "J. M. Loeb & Co." In 1902 
he became a member of the firm of Eliel & Loeb and in 1916 the 

169 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

firm was incorporated under the same name. It ranks as one of the 
leading insurance exchanges in this city. 

Mrs. Johanna Loeb was among the first of the South side women 
to become inspired with the idea of a Hebrew Institute. She was 
always foremost in zeal and enthusiasm for anything of a charitable 
or cultural nature. From her Jacob Loeb caught the spirit and 
before long his devotion to the cause was no less than his mother's. 
In 1908, when the Institute became a reality, Julius Rosenwald, its 
president, appointed Jacob M. Loeb chairman of the committee on 
physical culture. Loeb immediately sought out the most competent 
instructor in physical culture education and engaged Harry Berk- 
man to direct the department. In a short time the Hebrew Institute 
acquired more than a city-wide reputation. Jewish boys and girls 
entered every branch of athletics, a phenomenon heretofore un- 
known; they took part in wrestling matches, prizefighting, basket- 
ball, swimming and every form of indoor and outdoor sport. They 
came to be looked upon as worthy adversaries by the leading con- 
testants in their field. 

In 1910, when Mr. Rosenwald refused a second term Jacob M. 
Loeb dared to become his successor. Since then he has continued 
in the office to the present day and the Hebrew Institute, or as it is 
now called: "The Jewish People's Institute" has, in the last twenty 
years grown by leaps and bounds until it became the most influen- 
tial institution of its kind in the United States. 

On January 8, 1913, Mayor Carter H. Harrison of Chicago, ap- 
pointed Loeb a member of the Board of Education, to fill a vacancy 
of an unexpired term. On June 29, 1914, he was reappointed by the 
same mayor for a full term and soon after was elected by his col- 
leagues to the presidency of the Board. He was reappointed a mem- 
ber of the Board of education by Mayor Thompson. The corruption 
of the Thompson regime is contemporaneous history, well known 
to all. It penetrated every department. Nothing was too sacred, not 
even the funds appropriated for the education of more than half a 
million children. Here again Jacob Loeb manifested his intrepidity. 
He waged a terrific war against the prevailing graft and corruption 
and strengthened his attack with an exposure which shook the 

170 



ARMISTICE WITHOUT PEACE 

administration to its foundation. As a result of his campaign several 
high officials were tried and convicted. The administration lacked 
both power and courage to oust Loeb from office; he continued to 
function until his term expired, but he no longer participated ac- 
tively in the affairs of the Board. He attended meetings but took no 
part in their deliberations and refrained from voting. The service 
which he rendered to the city of Chicago and the courage he dis- 
played in an unequal war of an individual against a powerful 
political organization, made him an outstanding figure as a man 
and a citizen. 

Harry A. Lipsky was a member of the Board of Education under 
the Harrison administration -simultaneously with Loeb and to- 
gether they are responsible for the preparation and adoption of a 
resolution, making the Hebrew language part of the high school 
curriculum. Through the efforts of these men two distinguished 
Jews were honored by having public schools named after them: 
Theodor Herzl and Emil G. Hirsch. 

XX 

ARMISTICE WITHOUT PEACE, A BANQUET 
WITHOUT FOOD 

From the very beginning of the World War in 1914, the Jews 
of America responded to the plea for help from their less fortunate 
co-religionists in Europe, with an overwhelming generosity. The 
Jews of Chicago raised money in drive after drive to send out to the 
disease-stricken, famine-haunted Jews of Europe. 

In November, 1919, came the armistice with its period of recon- 
struction and readjustment. Battered, shell-torn homes had to be 
rebuilt and rehabilitated. Fields had to be tilled and made to yield 
again the wheat, corn and rye which meant food to the people who 
for so long had gone without. The millions of dollars collected by 
the Jews of America had begun to make an impression on the utter 
poverty and destitution of Europe. With the help of their brethren 
on this side the sea people were beginning to pick up the threads of 
their tattered existence. Wounds were beginning to heal and except 

171 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

for the missing members in every family, the nightmare of the past 
six years had almost vanished from the minds of the people. 

Then came the lean year of 1921, with its woes of hunger and 
starvation. The war had ended, but its ravages still endured. Again 
a cry came across the seas appealing for food. Julius Rosenwald 
called a conference of some of the leading Jews in America, to 
gather on September 24, 192 1 at the Standard Club, in Chicago. The 
conference resulted in a determination that the Jews of America 
must raise a sum of fourteen million dollars and Chicago was as- 
sessed with a quota of one million dollars. David A. Brown, of 
Detroit, Mich., who had distinguished himself on numerous occa- 
sions in organizing drives, was elected Generalissimo by the four 
hundred men and women present. 

Because the idea for the drive was formulated in Chicago, it was 
tacitly agreed that this city should be the first to organize its staff 
and raise the million dollars which would be the nucleus for the 
entire sum. The task seemed almost super-human. Financial de- 
pression, the high price of commodities and the numerous appeals 
already made were obstacles not to be considered lightly. The Jews 
of Chicago, like those all over the country, had "given till it hurt" 
in so many drives that they were almost bled white as a result. 
The question then was, who would undertake the thankless job of 
collecting this vast amount of money from people weary of giving. 
"Who will lead us?" was the question to be read on the faces of 
every person present. The voice of Jacob M. Loeb, to the surprise 
of every one, answered: "I Will." It was again the daring quality 
that dominated all his actions that spoke. His friends felt sorry for 
him; they considered his acceptance of the chairmanship a fool- 
hardy move. He had answered without realizing the responsibility 
leadership of an impossible task would entail. His enemies — and 
they were not a few — were elated with the thought that failure, 
which was bound to result, would damage his prestige and lower 
his pride. As some of the most vindictive expressed it : "He is going 
to the slaughter." 

Jacob M. Loeb organized his campaign committee, marshalled 
his forces and in less than forty days almost doubled the quota. The 

172 



ARMISTICE WITHOUT PEACE 

total amount subscribed was one million eight hundred thousand 
dollars. How he accomplished it no one can say exactly, but just 
one instance of the daring resourcefulness of the man can be told 
here. Jacob M. Loeb announced to his workers that on December 7, 
they were to attend a dinner at the Drake Hotel, for the purpose of 
outlining plans for the campaign. On Wednesday, December the 
seventh, at six o'clock, over eight hundred workers came to the 
Drake Hotel. On entering the large banquet room they found bare 
tables. After waiting patiently for some time, they realized that 
there was not going to be any food served. Mr. Loeb greeted the 
surprised and disappointed guests and explained to them the in- 
hospitality of the empty boards. 

"Fellow workers,"" he said. "We have been invited to meet each 
other and to dine together. We have met, but there is no banquet 
spread, no food prepared. The tables are bare and we will not dine. 
This is not by accident but by design. This program (call it trick 
if you will) has been deliberately planned, planned with a purpose 
— a twofold purpose. 

"For so many to dine in this place would mean an expenditure 
of thirty-five hundred dollars, which would be unwarrantable ex- 
travagance, and, in the face of starving Europe, a wasteful crime. 
Thirty-five hundred dollars will help to feed the starving, clothe 
the naked, and heal the sick. What right have we to spend on 
ourselves funds which have been collected for them? So that this 
money might be saved for them, you are brought here to this 
foodless banquet. 

"For that and for another reason. You came here expecting to 
dine, plentifully, luxuriously. Suddenly, unexpectedly, and perhaps 
for the first time, you have been disappointed. In place of plenty, 
you find nothing. In place of luxury, you find bareness. In place 
of symbols of joy, you find those of grief. Perhaps you are vexed 
and indignant as well as disappointed. Well then think of your 
brothers and sisters in South-eastern Europe. Some of them too 
have expected to eat, not so plentifully, or luxuriously as you, but 
still to eat. Suddenly as you, unprepared as you, rudely as you, 
they have been disappointed. For them, too, the symbols of glad- 

173 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ness have been replaced by those of sorrow. For you the disappoint- 
ment is temporary and transient, for them permanent and lasting. 
You have been denied one meal, they have been going for days and 
days without food. For you this short fast may mean better health 
— at most an hour's discomfort. For them, there has been depriva- 
tion and want, nakedness and disease, famine and death. Under- 
nourished mothers, anaemic fathers and rickety children stalk 
through Europe for lack of sustenance. So you have been assembled 
here in this way that you might be made to feel, in some small 
measure, what this must mean to them. It is hoped not only that 
you will feel it yourselves, but you will make others feel it. . . ." 
The new form of propaganda which became known as "The 
Foodless Banquet" was carried by news dispatches from one end 
of the world to the other; and when the drive was inaugurated in 
New York, Jacob M. Loeb was present to set its campaign in 
motion. In New York he again manifested his daring qualities by 
telling his hosts, at the risk of earning their enmity, a number of 
truths about themselves which no one had ever dared tell them 
before. The sincerity of his purpose, however, and his boldness in 
daring to come to New York to take its Jews to task completely 
dispelled any hostility which might have resulted and Loeb pro- 
ceeded with the business in hand and then returned to Chicago. 

XXI 

THREE RELIGIOUS LEADERS 

Between the years 1898 and 1906, there came to Chicago three 
spiritual leaders who have exerted a noticeable influence on the 
community up to the present time. I have been asked by many 
why I so greatly stress the Temple and Synagogue movement and 
why I devote so much time to the history of the Chicago Rabbinate ? 
This is an opportune time and place to answer the question once 
and for all. In the primitive lives of the crudest form of social 
existence, knowledge and education began with the priesthood. 
The first sign of a cultural life among all peoples emanated from 
the Church, and centered around the rabbi, minister, priest, lama 

174 



THREE RELIGIOUS LEADERS 

or medicine-man as the case might be. The early growth of the 
Jewish community in Chicago followed the same rule, hence my 
attention to the Synagogues, the Temples and their Rabbis. 

Rabbi Abraham Hirschberg came to Chicago in 1898, only a few 
months after he received his Master's degree from the University 
of Cincinnati. He came here to fill the pulpit of the "North Chicago 
Hebrew Congregation" and has stood in that high place ever since. 
Although during those thirty-two years many of the old members 
have silently withdrawn to a greater and larger congregation and 
many new ones have joined the Temple, though even its name has 
been changed to "Temple Sholom," Rabbi Hirschberg still officiates. 
In all the changes that can take place in thirty-two years he alone 
has remained immutable. He is still the Rabbi. 

Rabbi Hirschberg was born in Cincinnati, on August 10, 1876, 
the son of Maurice A. and Sarah (Samuels) Hirschberg. He was 
one of the youngest Rabbis to occupy a pulpit, but he boasts a still 
greater distinction in that his first pulpit has been his only one since 
his ordination. He has been active in many Jewish and civic move- 
ments, but his most notable contribution is the innovation of free 
services on the High Holidays at Medinah Temple, for the benefit, 
ostensibly, of transient Jews who are away from home on those 
days. He is also credited with being the originator of the idea of 
holding separate services for children, an idea the merit of which is 
still debatable. While Rabbi Hirschberg has remained constant in 
the changing aspect of his congregation, he has not failed to pro- 
gress with it and possibly that is the secret of his long tenancy in 
the pulpit of that modern Temple. 

# # # # # 

The second of the illustrious trio is Rabbi Tobias Schanfarber, 
who came to Chicago to become the Rabbi of Kehilath Anshe 
Maariv, in 1901. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 
20, 1862. Completing his preparatory studies in his native city, he 
entered the University of Cincinnati and the Union Hebrew Col- 
lege. He took his Master's degree from the University in 1885, and 
was ordained to the Rabbinate one year later. While still attending 

175 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the Hebrew Union College, during the year 1885-86 he journeyed 
weekly to Toledo, Ohio, to conduct services in the Reform Temple 
in that city. In 1886 and '87 he officiated at the temple in Fort 
Wayne, Ind., in 1887 and '88 at that of Baltimore, Md., and from 
1888 to 1898, he served as Rabbi in Mobile, Ala. In 1901 he came 
to the Congregation Kehilath Anshe Maariv in Chicago and here 
he has remained up to the present time. A few years ago, when 
Doctor Solomon Freehoff, a much younger man, took over the 
pulpit of K. A. M. Rabbi Schanfarber was retired as Rabbi Emeri- 
tus. Besides serving his community as its spiritual leader, he dis- 
tinguished himself in the field of Journalism and Letters. He was 
editor of the "Jewish Comment" of Baltimore, of the "Jewish 
Chronicle" of Mobile, "The Chicago Israelite" and "The Sentinel." 
He was associate editor for two years and contributor for many 
years to the "Reform Advocate" and to many secular and non- 
Jewish publications. He is the author of several volumes of essays 
and studies in Judaism. 

Since his arrival in Chicago he has crowded in a life full of activi- 
ties. He served as a director of the United Hebrew Charities, 
vice-president of the Illinois Vigilance Association, a director on 
the Board of the Chicago Hebrew Institute, corresponding secre- 
tary of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and president 
of the Chicago Rabbinical Association. In his early career he insti- 
tuted Sunday service in Baltimore and he helped organize Reform 
Congregations in many small communities. His support was of 
great value in the reorganization of Mount Sinai Hospital and he 
was instrumental in interesting Charles Schaffner in the idea of 
a Kosher Hospital. Although retired and enjoying considerable dis- 
tinction as Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Schanfarber has not ceased to 
take an interest in all spiritual, cultural and philanthropic affairs. 
The strenuousness of his activities in the past and the physical 
afflictions with which he has been tried have had no effect on his 
patient gentleness and have left no mark on his warm-heartedness. 
He loves his fellow-man, and in turn is loved by all who are 
privileged to know him. 

•J? 'rr ^nF ^F ^R^ 

176 



THREE RELIGIOUS LEADERS 

Dr. Gerson B. Levi, Rabbi of Temple Isaiah-Israel, is the third 
in the group of spiritual leaders who came to Chicago during that 
period. He was born in Greenock, Scotland, January 23, 1878, the 
son of Israel and Miriam (Salzman) Levi. When ten years old he 
was brought by his parents to the United States. The little family 
settled in Philadelphia and there Gerson spent his boyhood and 
early manhood. He attended elementary school and high school 
and later the University of Pennsylvania, in the city of brotherly 
love. In 1899 he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania 
with high scholastic honors and a Bachelor of Arts degree. He 
continued to do post-graduate work and received his degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy eleven years later. 

Israel Levi, a native of Kdenigsberg, Ost Preussen, was a strong 
adherer to the Haskalah movement and his sincerest wish, in which 
his wife shared, was that their son become a Rabbi. Thus, his 
studies were mapped for him in strict accordance with their wish: 
and when they were informed by his instructors of his brilliant 
mind and of the profound interest he evinced in all his studies they 
were filled with great happiness. He studied Hebrew under the 
tutorship of his grandfather, Hirsch Levi. Rabbi Sabato Morais, a 
saintly soul given to mysticism, the Rav of the Sefardic congrega- 
tion of Philadelphia, initiated him into Jewish philosophy and 
Jewish ethics. Gerson Levi went to New York and entered the 
"Jewish Theological Seminary" to take up the studies required in 
order to become an Orthodox Rabbi, a fact not widely known 
about the man who is now a leader in Liberal Reform Judaism in 
America. He graduated from the Seminary in 1904 and the same 
year took up his duties as Rabbi in Helena, Arkansas, where he 
remained for two years. In 1906 he was called to the pulpit of the 
newly consolidated Temple B'nai Sholem and Temple Israel of 
Chicago and he has remained ever since. 

There is another chapter in his life more thrilling than the first, 
for it presents the romantic phase in his career. A short time after 
Dr. Levi came to Chicago, he met a charming young woman who 
was the daughter of an eminent Rabbi and the granddaughter of 
two celebrated Rabbis. He met and fell in love with Elsa, the 

177 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

youngest daughter of Dr. Emil G. Hirsch. In addition to her great 
Yichus, which was of no little consideration to him who was him- 
self a great Yachson, Elsa possessed attractions of her own. Her 
interesting personality and brilliant mind were virtues to be taken 
for granted in a daughter of a Talmid Chochem. But Elsa Hirsch 
possessed a talent which threatened seriously as an obstacle in the 
young Rabbi's courtship. She was decided on a musical career. Her 
virtuosity as a pianist and her love for the instrument precluded any 
consideration of matrimony. But she was unable to resist the 
promptings of her heart and Elsa yielded in his favor as against a 
brilliant career on the concert stage. In 1907 they were married. 
They have three sons: Julian, Edward and Harry John, all worthy 
of their antecedents. 

In erudition and scholarship, Dr. Levi ranks high among the 
Rabbis of this land. His outlook on Jewish life may differ in many 
respects from that of other Rabbis but his views are a part of his 
philosophy on life in general and Jewish life in particular. 

He acknowledges the debt he owes to his grandfather and 
teacher, Hirsch Levi. That scholarly old gentleman was the pupil 
of the famous Reb Shmuel Strashuner and the impression he left 
on the plastic mind of his grandson is most remarkable. Equally at 
home with the Greek and Latin classics and the best modern litera- 
ture, yet when Dr. Levi seeks to clarify or illustrate a point, either 
from the pulpit or in private conversation, he resorts to the use of 
a Midrash for the purpose; he goes back to the "Drawing of the 
Waters" instead of using a modern simile or an ancient parable. 
He is an • independent thinker and when a thought ripens in his 
mind he proclaims it loudly enough for all to hear, disregarding 
the mobs that are ready to decry him as a "traitor to the cause of 
Judaism." His homiletics from the pulpit and discourses from other 
tribunes may lack the kind of oratorical melodrama that incites 
sentimental audiences to pathological hysteria but it contains an 
abundance of intellectual eloquence that strikes deeply and carries 
conviction. Every thought expressed is clearly and incisively and is 
sustained by sound logic. His diction is notably free from super- 
ficial frills and adornments, for Dr. Levi, primarily interested in 

178 



THREE RELIGIOUS LEADERS 

complete truth or a perfect syllogism, disdains external ornamenta- 
tions. He seeks to convey what he considers the truth and he does 
not trouble to obscure it by wrapping it in meaningless words. His 
quest is ever for power to bring conviction to his auditors, but he 
does not attempt to counterfeit this power by the use of an ex- 
travagance of phrases. He first seeks a definition for himself and 
then strives to give the entire thesis to his audience. 

The pen which Dr. Levi wields is as mighty and powerful as is 
the power of his speech. For many years he was the associate 
editor of the Reform Advocate and since 1923 he has been its 
editor-in-chief. He proved a worthy successor to its founder and 
first editor, the late Dr. Emil G. Hirsch. Not long ago I had occa- 
sion to discuss Dr. Levi's versatility with mutual friends. One of 
them said: "I do not often agree with his editorials but they are 
so compelling that one is almost forced to read them." He is 
strongly opposed to political Zionism but he is sincere and what 
more can one ask? 

Dr. Levi is the author of a Hebrew Grammar for children in the 
higher classes of Hebrew Religious schools, also a volume on 
Gnomic literature in the Bible and Apocryphy. He compiled and 
edited a volume of sermons delivered by Dr. Hirsch. He is one of 
the founders of the "Travelers Aid Society" and has been its vice 
president for the past eighteen years and guiding spirit ever since 
its inception. He is a member of the Board of the Jewish Aid Society 
and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Institute of 
Religion, of New York, founded by Dr. Stephen S. Wise. He has 
been president of the Chicago Rabbinical Association, a member of 
the Board of Managers of the Central Conference of American 
Rabbis, a member of the Editorial Board of the Menorah Society 
of Northwestern University and an honorary member of the Saint 
Andrew Society, which is composed of Chicago Scotchmen. 

Mrs. Gerson B. Levi takes her place in public affairs as befits the 
wife of her husband and the daughter of her sire. She is ex-presi- 
dent of the Sisterhood of Isaiah-Israel Congregation, ex-president 
of the Conference of Jewish Women's Clubs and President of the 

179 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Chicago Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. She is 
active in various other fields of endeavor. 

Temple Israel, a beautiful edifice, only a few years old, was lo- 
cated on Michigan avenue and Fifty-third street, at one time a 
fine residential section in Chicago, but shortly after the war the 
territory was invaded by Negroes, and the white people began to 
move Eastward. In 1923, Temple Isaiah, which stood on the corner 
of Vincennes avenue and Forty-sixth place, met with a similar fate. 
It, too, had to be abandoned because of the invasion of the colored 
race and its members sought new territory in the South-East section. 
Both congregations saw that it would be to their benefit to con- 
solidate and accordingly the two merged into one. Isaiah had 
already acquired a beautiful tract of land on Greenwood avenue 
and Hyde Park boulevard and on May 6, 1923, the cornerstone was 
laid on this site for the new Temple. "The Temple" was completed 
in the same year, and today its dome and minaret present a pictur- 
esque silhouette against the sky, a scene reminiscent of the ancient 
splendor of Israel and its Temple. For a time Doctor Stolz and 
Doctor Levi alternated in conducting services, but Doctor Stolz 
retired two years ago to become Rabbi Emeritus and Doctor Levi 
assumed all the responsibilities and duties of an active Rabbi. 



XXII 

FROM KISHINEF TO CHICAGO 

Harry Jeramiah Auerbach was born and raised in Kishinef. 
When the pogrom broke out in that city he was sixteen years old. 
By some unknown miracle he managed to avoid being hurt, but 
five years later he came to Chicago to meet his death in a manner 
which stirred the Jewish community to a violent passion. 

At noon on Monday, February 2nd, 1908, the newspapers in bold 
type scarcely dry bore screaming headlines proclaiming the sensa- 
tional news that a Jewish youth, an anarchist Harry J. Auerbach 
by name, was killed in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate George 
M. Shippy, Chief of Police of Chicago. The Jewish population was 
shocked and appalled at this wholly unexpected incident. Utterly 

180 



FROM KISHINEF TO CHICAGO 

terrified by the first incomplete details of the newspaper stories 
and without stopping to consider if there were any mitigating cir- 
cumstances it hastened to condemn the unfortunate youth. 

The daily Jewish Courier, a Yiddish newspaper owned and man- 
aged by M. Ph. Ginsburg, is regarded as one of the most conserva- 
tive newspapers in the country, and yet, even this publication as- 
sumed an attitude totally at variance with its usual policy. Out of 
the jumble of surmises as to motive and the maze of conflicting 
accounts of the attack, the following details emerged: Chief of 
Police George M. Shippy received several knife wounds in the right 
shoulder, his son Harry, nineteen years old, was at the Augustine 
hospital, mortally wounded by a bullet which penetrated his lungs. 
The Chief's coachman received wounds in his right side and the 
assassin was killed by bullets from Chief Shippy's gun. The attack 
had taken place at 9:15 o'clock that morning. The general trend 
of the various accounts in the different newspapers was somewhat 
as follows: The assassin, Harry J. Auerbach, a Russian Jew, a 
fanatic, a crank and an anarchist, had come to Chicago three 
months before and made his home with his eighteen year old sis- 
ter Olga. His sweetheart occupied a room in the same flat. Auer- 
bach was born in Kishinef and immediately after the pogroms he 
ran away from the bloody city and came to Austria. There he strug- 
gled hard and suffered from a scarcity of food and shelter for five 
years. At the age of twenty-one he came to Chicago. He had very 
few friends and became melancholy and brooding. From his sister 
it was learned that he lost his job here and being unable to procure 
other employment he had to depend upon her meager earnings for 
support. When she fell behind with her rent and he was still with- 
out employment, he became more and more despondent. 

From here the composite story boils down to this altogether 
ridiculous tale: The struggle, .which lasted but a few minutes, took 
place in the house of Chief Shippy, at 31 Lincoln Court. Harry 
Auerbach rang the doorbell and the Chief answered it himself. As 
soon as the door was opened Auerbach entered and gave the Chief 
a sealed envelope. Shippy was suspicious of the young man from 
the moment he entered. He grabbed him by both arms and called 

181 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

to his wife to come and search his pockets for weapons. Mrs. 
Shippy hastened to her husband's side, did as she was told and dis- 
covered that the unwelcome guest had a revolver in his pocket. 
She screamed a word of warning to her husband, but at that mo- 
ment the assassin freed himself from the grip of the Chief, seized 
the gun and pulled the trigger, intending to fire at Mrs. Shippy. 
The bullet went wild and struck Harry Shippy, the Chief's son, 
who, on hearing the commotion, rushed down the stairs to learn 
the cause of it. The Chief then pulled out his gun, but before he 
had a chance to shoot was stabbed in the shoulder by a stiletto 
which Auerbach had concealed about his person. At this moment 
the Chief's daughter Georgia and the coachdriver came running 
to the scene attracted by the noise. The intruder was finally over- 
powered but not before he was punctured with bullets. 

Many exaggerated and sensational variations of the theme were 
told in the columns of the newspapers but improbable as most of 
them were no one even questioned their veracity. A coroner's in- 
quest was called, Assistant Chief of Police Herman Schuettler took 
charge of the matter and the inquest was postponed pending the 
outcome of the injuries inflicted on the members of the Chief's 
household. Meanwhile the highest praise was showered on the 
Chief for his calm, collected action and great bravery. Even Presi- 
dent Roosevelt sent a letter of congratulation to the hero of the 
day. But no one gave a thought to the poor youth of twenty-one 
who had escaped the horrors of Kishinef only to find a more shame- 
ful death and a hole in the ground in the potter's field. I said no 
one gave a thought, I am wrong! There was one man in the city 
whose mind was filled with unformulated doubts about the Auer- 
bach tragedy. His name was Peter Boyarsky and he was editor-in- 
chief of the Daily Jewish Courier. No man ever left as many ene- 
mies behind him as did Boyarsky when he died, but no man was 
ever more proud of his enemies. And yet, Boyarsky was capable of 
the greatest personal sacrifices in the name of friendship. His motto 
was: "My friends can do no wrong." On the surface he seemed a 
cold, cynical and soul-less character, but within there palpitated a 
warm heart. 

182 



FROM KISHINEF TO CHICAGO 

From the first day of the Auerbach tragedy, Boyarsky was per- 
haps the only skeptical man in the city as to the veracity of the 
press reports. It did not seem logical, to his way of thinking, that 
an insignificant youngster of small stature and weak body was 
likely to possess sufficient energy and courage to go to the home of 
the Chief of Police for the purpose of making an attack on his life. 
Still less likely was it that a weakling like Auerbach could cause so 
much havoc in the midst of three strong and powerful men and 
two women. The doubts increased in his mind when the fact was 
established that Auerbach was found literally riddled with bullets. 
Boyarsky confided his fears and doubts to one person only, to Mr. 
M. Ph. Ginsburg, publisher and managing editor of the Courier. 
The logic of Boyarsky's arguments left Ginsburg in a turmoil of 
suspicion. The tragedy of the whole affair affected him so strongly 
that he expressed his complete confidence in Boyarsky's judgment 
in the matter and directed him to act editorially as he might see fit. 

Another incident which occurred at a great distance from the 
scene of the Auerbach affair came to have some relation with it. On 
the very same day that the Auerbach tragedy took place at 31 Lin- 
coln Court in Chicago, the "Burnett Restrictive Immigration bill" 
came up for a hearing in the House of Congress. This bill was the 
first attempt by the enemies of immigration to invoke legislation 
to bar immigration from our shores. Congressman Adolph J. 
Sabath of Chicago, who was in favor of keeping our doors wide 
open, was making an impassioned plea in behalf of the immigrant, 
when a colleague handed him a newspaper which in large head- 
lines announced the attempted assassination of the Chicago Chief 
of Police, by a Russian Jewish anarchist. Congressman Sabath im- 
mediately wired to the "Chicago Daily Courier" asking for more 
information. The strange "coincidence" of the crime and the in- 
troduction of the immigration bill occurring on the same day 
prompted Boyarsky to take an even greater interest in the affair 
with a renewed determination to trace it to its deepest source. Dur- 
ing the first few days, while the tumult was raging and the police 
had unlimited authority to place under arrest any person suspected 
of anarchistic tendencies, Boyarsky moved about quietly and cau- 

183 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

tiously, in an endeavor to 'find out something concerning the life 
of the youth who now lay buried in the potter's field. His first 
move was a call on the sister, Olga Auerbach, whom he found in 
bed stricken by grief at losing her brother and racked by the terrible 
ordeal she had undergone while in the custody of the police. From 
her he obtained sufficient information to convince him more 
strongly than ever that her brother was no anarchist, that he had 
been imbued with a deep religious piety, that he had followed the 
traditions of his fathers and had wound the philacteries around his 
arm daily. 

Up to this time his editorials were mild exhortations to the public 
to reserve judgment and withhold condemnation until further de- 
velopments. When he was entirely convinced that Harry Jeramiah 
Auerbach was no anarchist and that he had gone to the Chief's 
home with no criminal intent; when all evidence obtainable only 
strengthened his conviction that Auerbach had no weapons on him 
at the time of the "crime" (and no weapons were found in his room 
on Washburn avenue, the claims of the police department to the 
contrary), then Boy ar sky inaugurated a propaganda among his 
readers which started with an editorial bidding them claim the 
body of the victim and inter it in a Jewish cemetery. Boyarsky 
knew the psychology of his people and he knew that the easiest 
way to arouse their sympathy was through G'milath chesed shel 
Emeth. His editorial entitled "A Voice From the Potters-field" 
appeared in the Courier and proved him the psychologist, for it had 
the desired effect on the Jewish community and was translated and 
published in every Chicago newspaper. I shall omit the part that 
was played by some of the Jewish politicians who held jobs under 
the Busse administration; to whom the little jobs they held were 
more important than the reputation and honor of all the Jews in 
the United States. I cannot, however, overlook the men and women, 
Jews and Gentiles, who, like Boyarsky, when they became con- 
vinced that Auerbach was an innocent victim did everything in 
their power to vindicate him and expunge the blot from his people. 
Among the foremost in the caravan of justice were Miss Jane Ad- 
dams, Dr. Emil G. Hirsch, Judge Julian W. Mack, Dr. David 

184 



FROM KISHINEF TO CHICAGO 

Blaustein, and M. Ph. Ginsburg; besides certain professors of 
Northwestern University and of the University of Chicago who 
were unwilling at the time to have their names disclosed and with- 
out their permission now I cannot mention them by name. 

It was a quiet, simple and dignified procession which attended 
the removal of the body of Harry J. Auerbach from the ignoble 
grave to a resting place in a Jewish cemetery. Great caution was 
necessary, for those who participated in the funeral were aware that 
they endangered their liberty. The police department and the en- 
tire city administration would take every precaution to see that 
nothing was done to erase the stigma from Auerbach. It was nec- 
essary in order to preserve their own integrity to have him stand 
condemned in the eyes of the world as an anarchist and assassin. 
It is no longer a secret that the police tapped the telephone wires in 
the office of the Courier and a persistent rumor was afloat that they 
intended to make a raid on the Chicago Hebrew Institute, on the 
office of the Daily Jewish Courier and even on Hull House. 

The funeral took place ten days after Auerbach's untimely and 
violent death. Among those who braved arrest in order to fulfill 
the Mizwah of "escorting the dead to his last resting place" were 
Bernard Horwich, Harris Horwich, J. Linenthal, David Shapiro, 
J. Arkin, Siegel, Ehrenberg, H. Edelstein and M. Janowitz. It re- 
quired considerable scheming to elude the prying newspaper report- 
ers and police spies. The heads of the Jewish Charities assisted con- 
siderably in carrying out the plans without disclosing any part of 
the arrangements. 

Another editorial from the pen of Boyarsky the day after the 
funeral was even more stirring than the first. It was entitled "From 
Kishinef to Chicago." This too was translated and published in all 
Chicago newspapers. But the one that precipitated a climax was 
the editorial under the headline : "Wanted an Emil Zola," the trans- 
lation of which occupied the front page of almost every newspaper 
and provoked long editorials in the English press. The unrefuted 
charges brought by Boyarsky convinced all fairminded men that 
Auerbach was an innocent victim and Chief Shippy was guilty of 
cold murder. 

185 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

What actually transpired at Thirty-one Lincoln Court, on Feb- 
ruary 2nd, 1908, and what brought the unfortunate boy to that 
home, has remained a secret for these past twenty-two years. It is 
not likely that the whole truth will ever be revealed. But some of 
the facts did come to light through the efforts of Peter Boyarsky 
and the Courier after George Shippy died a raving maniac in a 
sanitarium. A rumor became persistent that on the night previous 
to the Auerbach tragedy the Chief attended a banquet and did not 
return until the early hours of the morning. The eighteenth 
amendment to the constitution was only a fancy then in the mind 
of some pious member of the Y. M. C. A. or the W. C. T. U. Per- 
haps if the amendment had been in existence, or if banquets had 
been occasions for speechmaking and eating only, Harry J. Auer- 
bach's escape from the city of pogroms might not have been in vain. 

XXIII 

THE CONQUEST OF CONDITIONS 

It is still a mooted question whether man creates conditions or 
conditions mold the man. This question came with renewed force 
to my mind as I am about to review the activities of Judge Harry M. 
Fisher, whose career has been most extraordinary. His history in- 
stead of simplifying the controversy seems to render it all the more 
confusing, for his rise is an enigma to the historian, a problem to 
the student of social science and an unexplainable phenomenon to 
the psychologist. That he is not the creature of conditions is evi- 
denced by the story of his life, which I shall narrate in the next few 
paragraphs. That he is a man who could master conditions seems 
altogether unlikely to the observer who views his small stature, un- 
aggressive mien, and gentle manner. 

Judge Fisher was born on January 1, 1882, in the province of 
Kovno, Russia. Like all Jewish boys in the small towns of Russia 
he attended Cheder and when he emigrated with his parents to 
America on December 23, 1893, he was already a student of the 
Talmud. During his first two years in Chicago he attended public 
school, but he had many brothers and sisters all younger than he 

186 



THE CONQUEST OF CONDITIONS 

was, for whom their father found it too arduous a task to provide 
food and clothing. Harry, the oldest child, was withdrawn from 
school that he might share the burden of supporting the family with 
his own earnings. He became a vendor of newspapers and attended 
night school. At the age of fifteen he became a cap-maker and the 
time not occupied by his trade he devoted to the study of English. 
When a lad of sixteen he joined two social and literary clubs whose 
members were about his own age: 'The Sons and Daughters of 
Zion" and "The Victorian Social Club." They exercised a remark- 
able influence on the life of the youth. It was at the meetings of 
these organizations that the ambition was born in him to become a 
public speaker, an ambition which led him to conquer conditions 
and surmount great obstacles.' 

Together with Doctor George Halperin he organized the "Vol- 
unteers of Zion," a Zionist organization with military tendencies. 
The story of Demosthenes, the Greek orator, who was afflicted with 
an impediment of speech but whose ambition to become an orator 
was so great that he went daily to the seashore, filled his mouth 
with pebbles and shouted above the roaring of the waves until he 
overcame the defect, is not of greater interest than the story of 
Harry Fisher's efforts to become an orator. Instead of an impedi- 
ment of speech, Harry Fisher had to overcome the obstacles of a 
meager education, the mastery of a foreign language and the pre- 
viously mentioned smallness of stature, which did nothing to pre- 
possess an audience in his favor. By dint of hard work and diligent 
self-application he succeeded in mastering the art of oratory and 
achieved an eloquence which has charmed innumerable audiences. 

However, to return to the year 1900. Encouraged by his friends 
he continued to study English and in the fall of that year he en- 
tered the Atheneum school. One of his instructors, who took a lik- 
ing to the eighteen year old lad, prevailed upon him to take up the 
study of law. 

In 1901, Harry M. Fisher matriculated in the Chicago-Kent Law 
School. Still deficient in English he had to memorize his lessons 
and recitations word for word as he received them from the in- 

187 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



structors or the text books. At the end of his first year he received 
honorable mention for his work. Most interesting to us and perhaps 
most painful to Harry Fisher is the fact that the members of his 
immediate family and all of his relatives were strongly opposed to 
his studies ; even Esther, his sweetheart, who is now his wife, threat- 
ened to give him up if he did not abandon his "foolish ideas" of 
becoming a lawyer. 

During the period of his College years he gave up his club activi- 
ties and devoted all his spare time to his studies. He obtained a posi- 
tion as clerk in the law office of Shuran and Zoline; here he was 
given an opportunity to acquaint himself with the practical side of 
the legal profession. In October, 1904, he was admitted to the bar. 
In 1905 he formed a partnership with Leon Hornstein. On June 25 
of the same year he married Esther Soboroff. 

His first public activities were in the Zionist organization. In 
1905 he participated in the annual convention of the Order Knights 
of Zion which was held in St. Louis, Mo. About the same time he 
became active in the movement for a Chicago Hebrew Institute. 
Even at this period his personality attracted to him a group of men 
who made him their leader and followed him into any movement 
he joined. In this circle were Isaac Lurya and Moe Joseph, who 
were in the wholesale lumber business, and the two brothers Sam- 
kowitz, building contractors, all fairly well situated financially and 
liberal contributors to worthy causes. In their endeavor to establish 
the Hebrew Institute Fisher and his friends labored strenuously and 
were greatly instrumental in finally getting it started in its first 
home on Blue Island avenue. 

We next find him associated with Doctor Benjamin H. Break- 
stone, S. J. Rosenblatt, Isaac Lurya, Moe Joseph and Max Korshak 
in the drive to establish a "Kosher" Hospital for Orthodox Jews. 

In 1909, when Judge Julian W. Mack was a candidate for re- 
election as Judge of the Circuit Court, Harry Fisher for the first 
time entered the political arena in the interest of Judge Mack. In 
1910 he organized the Lawndale Club and in 1912 he was himself 
elected Judge of the Municipal Court. 

188 



THE CONQUEST OF CONDITIONS 

In 191 1 Bernard Horwich, Harry A. Lipsky and Judge Fisher 
organized the "Federated Orthodox Jewish Charities." Not long 
ago I had occasion to discuss with Leo F. Wormser, a director of 
the Board of Jewish Charities, the highlights in the history of the 
Associated Charities. Mr. Wormser said: "To my mind, the most 
significant and purposeful event in the history of Jewish charities in 
this city was the consolidation of the Federated and Associated 
Charities." I misinterpreted the remark as an affront against the 
Orthodox charities and I retorted, somewhat provoked: "To my 
way of thinking the greatest event was the organization of the 
Federated." I now realize that Mr. Wormser was right. The or- 
ganization of the "Federated Charities" was the climax of the revo- 
lutionary movement of the East European immigrant against the 
leaders of the "Associated Jewish Charities" — the revolution which 
began with the organization of the B. M. Z. The consolidation of 
the two must be regarded as a treaty, a recognition of equality be- 
tween two powers. It was no longer the relation between the giver 
and the receiver, but an amalgamation on equal terms of two forces 
for the common weal. 

At the first meeting of the Federated Charities, the sum of fifty 
thousand dollars was subscribed. The officers elected were: Ber- 
nard Horwich, president; James Davis, Samuel Philipson and A. S. 
Roe, vice presidents; B. J. SchifT, treasurer; Harry A. Lipsky, re- 
cording secretary; and Mrs. Julius Stone, financial secretary. 

In 1915, Judge Fisher and Harry Lipsky issued a call for a meet- 
ing to organize a committee to raise funds for the sufferers in the 
war stricken area of Russia. The leaders of the Reform wing were 
opposed to such a move, fearing that it would create prejudice 
among the non-Jews. The only one of that group who defied the 
old "Lomo Yomru" (What will the Gentiles say?) was Doctor 
Emil G. Hirsch; he signified his sympathies by his presence at the 
meeting. Harry A. Lipsky was made chairman of the committee, 
and was later succeeded by Dr. Hirsch, who served two terms. Im- 
mediate and concerted action was necessary for a General Staff 
Order had been issued by the Russian army directing the evacua- 

189 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

tion of all Jews from the area near the border lines, a command 
which caused untold hardships and suffering to hundreds of thou- 
sands of Jews. The committee was the nucleus for the three sub- 
sequent widely spread organizations that functioned in the United 
States throughout the war and collected many millions of dollars 
for the war sufferers: the Central Relief, an agency maintained by 
Orthodox Jews; The People's Relief, the organization supported by 
the Radicals, and the American Jewish Relief, subscribed to by the 
Reform Jews. 

In 1917, a campaign was launched to raise ten million dollars for 
relief work in Eastern Europe. Julius Rosenwald, of Chicago, came 
forward with his own donation of one million dollars, the largest 
sum ever contributed by an individual towards immediate relief. 
Judge Fisher opened the first meeting with a stirring appeal to 
arouse the sympathies of the German Jews. It was the famous 
meeting at which the silver tongued orator, Rabbi Aba Hillel Sil- 
ber of Cleveland, Ohio, was heard for the first time by a Chicago 
audience. 

In the same year, the Kerensky government appointed Bach- 
metoff to represent the Russian government as ambassador to 
Washington. The Lawndale Club designated a committee of three, 
Judge Fisher, Dr. Abe Frankel and S. J. Rosenblatt, to go to Wash- 
ington and invite the Russian ambassador to Chicago, to be the 
guest of the Jewish People. Bachmetoff accepted the invitation, the 
date was set and all other arrangements were made. A general 
committee backed by the Union League Club was organized to 
entertain the distinguished guest and the members of his suite in 
proper style. The committee arranged an outdoor meeting in 
Douglas Park to present the guest to the people. Fifty thousand 
persons attended and Judge Fisher presided at the gigantic meet- 
ing. Speeches were made by the Ambassador and the young Baron 
Ginsburg, an Attache to the embassy. In the evening a dinner was 
given by the Union League in honor of Bachmetoff. When the 
Ambassador concluded his speech he whispered to Judge Fisher 
that after the excitement of the day he would like to retire early. 

190 



THE CONQUEST OF CONDITIONS 

Accompanied by Judge and Mrs. Fisher he took his leave and the 
party repaired to his suite, where they spent the remainder of the 
night — discussing the Jews of Russia: their existence in the past, 
their lot under the new regime and the possibilities the future 
holds for them. 

In 1919, a new drive was inaugurated to raise fifteen million dol- 
lars; this drive was interdenominational. Judge Fisher travelled 
throughout the country, making appeals for money. The amount 
of the non-Jewish contributions was negligible but the character of 
the drive gave to the speakers an excellent opportunity to enlighten 
the non-Jewish world on the aims, the lives, the ideals and the 
aspirations of the Jewish people. 

In 1920, Judge Harry M. Fisher went to Russia, on behalf of the 
"Joint Distribution Committee" to investigate the conditions of the 
Jews. With him travelled Max Pine, a leading socialist from New 
York, and Doctor Israel Friedlander, professor of the Jewish The- 
ological Seminary, also from New York. The Ukraine was being 
ravaged by an epidemic of typhoid fever, which made it impossible 
to bring relief to the people of that territory and so in April he 
returned to Warsaw. During his stay in Warsaw he was confronted 
on all sides with the intense poverty and suffering about him, but 
suddenly hostilities were declared between Poland and Russia and 
Judge Fisher was able to leave Warsaw just in time. 

From Warsaw he repaired to Revel, Estonia, where he awaited 
an order from the Soviet government permitting him to enter 
Russia. Not until the end of May was he finally admitted. He had 
several conferences with Tchicherin, which resulted in his receiving 
permission from the latter to do relief work in Russia. 

One of the outstanding incidents in the memory of Judge Fisher 
was the arrest of one hundred and seven Zionists, charged by the 
"Evzes" as counter-revolutionists. At the time of his arrival they 
were languishing in the jails of Moscow. He met Rabbi Maze 
from whom he gathered the details of their arrest and then he went 
before the authorities to establish their innocence. He succeeded in 
having them all liberated. At last an agreement was signed by 

191 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Fisher, on behalf of the Joint Distribution Committee and by the 
representatives of the Soviet government. This agreement, in 
effect, broke the food blockade against Russia, which existed since 
the fall of the Kerensky government. While the documents were 
being signed and the details were being arranged a carload of food 
was waiting in Revel to be released and shipped into Russia. A 
carload of food ! The first of many more to relieve the sore hunger 
of a whole nation !. 

On his way to Stockholm, as he reached the docks he was recog- 
nized by a Jewish newspaperman who conveyed to him the sad 
news of the tragic fate that had befallen Doctor Friedlander and 
his assistant Kantor. While on a mission to distribute aid to poor 
needy Jews the two were set upon and killed by robbers. Another 
tragedy to add to the many horrors etched on his mind by his 
experiences during the year 1920. 

Judge Fisher played an important part in the 1921 campaign for 
funds distinguished as the "Foodless Banquet Drive.' , In addition 
to the ingenious plan of Jacob M. Loeb, which is given elsewhere 
in these pages, one other incident is worthy of mention. A mass 
meeting was called at Sinai Temple, where an appeal was made to 
raise funds. Judge Fisher was the principal speaker. He stirred the 
vast audience with the grim tale of his experiences in the war- 
ridden provinces and actually moved men and women to tears. At 
a dramatic pause in the narrative when the tension was high, Doc- 
tor Emil G. Hirsch suddenly rose to his feet and in solemn manner 
recited the Kaddish (prayer for the dead). The effect on the audi- 
ence was indescribable. Sobs were torn from the breasts of the sym- 
pathetic listeners, and men, weeping unashamed, pledged them- 
selves to amounts beyond any expectation for the relief of stricken 
Russia. 

In connection with the "Hillel Foundation," an institution fur- 
thering the cultural interests of American Jewry in our universi- 
ties and of which Benjamin Engelhardt, president of Temple Sho- 
lem, of Chicago is the original founder, Judge Fisher's name is 
found linked with those of Julius Rosenwald and Doctor Louis 

192 



THE CONQUEST OF CONDITIONS 

Mann as the most active participants in its organization. The vari- 
ous interests of Judge Fisher are too numerous to recount in this 
volume. I must omit his trip to Palestine, and his activities in the 
Zionist organization as well as in many other movements of a 
Jewish and civic character. I have recounted enough to show what 
a potent factor Judge Fisher has been in the rise and growth of 
Jewish Chicago. 



193 



PART THREE 



I 

A NEW GENERATION 

WITH all the other woes and misfortunes the World War 
brought about, there ensued a general apathy in reli- 
gion; its decline was universal. From every pulpit went 
forth a voice of despair. In American Judaism, the slipping of the 
younger generation from the folds of their fathers was felt as keenly 
as among all other denominations. It brought consternation and 
dismay to the hearts of many and filled them with gloom and 
pessimism, especially those who still clung in one form or another 
to the age-old traditions. They had forebodings and were pos- 
sessed by premonitions. Some cried out from the depths of their 
souls, with sorrow and anguish; others — with great joy and delight: 
"Judaism is dying! Another generation and there will be no Jews 
in America !" To prove it they pointed to the present "machine 
age," whose tide was ruthlessly sweeping away all sentiment and 
the last vestiges of belief. Those for whom the main tenets of re- 
ligion were charity and philanthropy, pointed with tears in their 
eyes to the passing of Jacob H. Schifr", Louis Marshall and Julius 
Rosenwald and they moaned : "They are all going one by one, who 
are left to fill these vacancies?" 

Since the future of American Judaism depends upon the younger 
generation, there can be but one method by which we can gauge 
the future of American Judaism. Instead of abandoning ourselves 
to pessimism and laments for those who have passed on, let us ex- 
amine the material of the newer generation, and decide whom we 
can count upon for leadership when we shall be no more. My 
acquaintance with many young people prevents me from sharing 
in the pessimism entertained by so many. The material is plentiful 

195 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

and the quality is of the finest, in both camps of American Jewry. 
Further on I shall present several representative types who have 
already made a splendid beginning towards Jewish leadership, but 
at this point let me introduce Leo F. Wormser. He was born in 
Chicago, July 6, 1884. David Wormser, his father, had come from 
Germany at an early age, and being intelligent and alert, he readily 
acclimated himself to the new environment. He read the history 
of the United States and became devoted to the principles and ideals 
of American institutions, as applied to universal Justice. He was 
elected president of the Standard Club, which was regarded as an 
honor and distinction. He loved the company of learned and 
scholarly men because he had much in common with them and he 
gathered them about him in his home. Frida, the mother of Leo, 
was endowed with the virtues of a true mother in Israel; goodness, 
modesty and self-effacement were among them. The keen sense of 
patient justice which dominates Leo Wormser in all of his actions 
he probably inherited from her, for one of the earliest preachments 
from his mother's lips was the saying of the Talmudist : "Judge not 
your neighbor until you have placed yourself in his position." 

Under the exterior of cosmopolitan polish, the moral fibers of 
Leo F. Wormser's being are purely Hebraic. The "Ethics of the 
Fathers" is the foundation upon which rests the structure of all his 
ideals, though he himself may not be conscious thereof and might 
even refute this statement. He may trace the inner world which he 
has formed to the philosophic writings of Aristotle or Plato, Kant 
or Hegel, Carlyle, Nietsche or any of the other philosophers he 
studied during his years at the university, but his philosophy is in- 
tensely and inherently Jewish. An American no less than one 
whose ancestors date back to the Mayflower, he has a wider outlook 
and a deeper appreciation for the values of America's cultural op- 
portunities, by reason of the greater scope of his perspective. 

Wormser attended Chicago public schools, the Armour Scientific 
Academy and in 1904 received the degree of Ph.B. from the 
University of Chicago. For two years he pursued the study of law 
at Harvard Law School, then returned to the University of Chicago, 
where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence. 

196 



A NEW GENERATION 

In 1909 he entered the law office of Rosenthal and Hamil as a 
law clerk, but his apprenticeship lasted only two years, after which 
he was admitted as a partner to the firm now known as Rosenthal, 
Hamil & Wormser. From then on his career progressed steadily. 
During 1922 and 1923 he lectured in the law school of the Univer- 
sity of Chicago on "Practical Aspects of Drafting Legal Docu- 
ments." He became one of the Board of Managers of the Illinois 
Law Review. He is a member of the American Law Institute en- 
gaged in drafting a Restatement of the Law. As an advocate he 
has gained wide recognition. 

In other fields he serves as a Trustee of the new Planetarium, 
erected by Max Adler; he is a trustee and secretary of the board of 
the Museum of Science and Industry, founded by Julius Rosen- 
wald, a member of the Executive Committee of the Civic Federa- 
tion, and a member of the Orchestral Association. 

When Julius Rosenwald conceived the idea of building the Mu- 
seum of Science and Industry, he selected Leo F. Wormser to ac- 
company him to Europe for the purpose of studying institutions of 
a similar character in foreign countries and to assist him in working 
out plans and developing the project. Max Adler also chose Worm- 
ser to accompany him on a similar expedition abroad to get ideas 
for the Planetarium. 

His activities, however, are not confined to legal, civic or cultural 
enterprises. For the past fifteen years he has been a member of the 
board of directors of the Jewish Charities, and has given his time 
and legal counsel freely to all charitable and philanthropic causes. 

Leo F. Wormser possesses an analytical mind, which views dis- 
passionately all subjects of his research. His outlook on man's rela- 
tions to his fellow man and the universe is purely scientific and ac- 
cordingly on the surface it appears to be free from any sentiment 
or emotion. But what lies beneath? He makes an appeal for Eu- 
ropean Jewry on behalf of the 'Joint Distribution Committee in 1925 
and entitles his address "Facts and Issues." On opening the pages 
of the booklet recording this address, we find an exposition of sound 
logic, an appeal to the mind rather than to the heart, but under- 

197 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

neath the solidity of reason and logic there is his soul — the "Ethics 
of the Fathers" — and hence he exclaims against those who might 
turn a deaf ear toward suffering humanity : "We boast, Gentlemen, 
that we live in the twentieth century, but if such human indiffer- 
ence is the result of the development of our civilization, take me 
back one hundred years before the Christian Era and let me sit 
once more at the feet of that eloquent Roman, Terence, famed even 
then for the moderation and soundness of thought, who said: 

" 'I am a man; and nothing that relates to man do I deem foreign 
to me.' " 

Here then, in spite of his scientific training, his analytical meth- 
ods of reasoning and the modernity of his philosophy of life, is 
evidence of a dreamer, possessed of deep emotions and moved by 
strong sympathies for his fellow Jews and for humanity. 

The two outstanding elements in Leo F. Wormser are his Jewish 
background and his modern scientific methods of logic and reason. 
His fabric of ethics, in which are woven the warp of Jewish imagi- 
nation and tradition, and the woof of modern science and reason to 
produce an outstanding type in young American Israel and his 
leadership in the American Judaism of tomorrow is bound to bring 
forth desirable results. Wormser is not alone. I chose him because 
he is representative of a newer generation that must remove cause 
for despondency in contemplating the future of American Jewry. 

II 

JEWS IN HIGHER LEARNING 

In an earlier chapter, under the heading, "The Spiritual Aspect," 
I speak of the time when "the University of Chicago existed on 
paper only." Today this institution of learning is recognized as one 
of the leading universities in the country and, it is no exaggeration 
to state that the Jewish community helped greatly in its transition 
to reality and contributed much to its financial, scholastic and 
spiritual importance. The university first opened its doors and be- 
gan to function in 1892. In Nineteen Hundred and Sixteen, Doctor 
Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed, one of its first professors, completed 

198 



JEWS IN HIGHER LEARNING 

a volume entitled: "A History of the University of Chicago," from 
which I quote the following: 

"The other auxiliary movement, connected with the appeal to the 
business public, was that of the Jews. On February 20, 1890, the 
secretaries called on B. Lowenthal, a Jewish banker, who expressed 
great interest and promised to undertake to inaugurate a movement 
among his people. Dr. E. G. Hirsch and E. B. Felsenthal entered 
heartily into the undertaking, as did others who were consulted, and 
on April 8, the Standard Club, composed of four hundred of the 
leading Jews of the city, on the motion of Morris Selz, unanimously 
and enthusiastically voted to raise twenty-five thousand dollars for 
the new institution. A committee of ten was appointed which 
pushed the work with energy through the succeeding two months. 
The committee assumed the entire labor of securing the subscrip- 
tions, wholly relieving the secretaries from any responsibility or 
effort. The latter had secured fifteen hundred dollars from Jews 
who were alumni of the old University before this movement be- 
gan. The committee of ten finally turned in subscriptions aggregat- 
ing twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars, making the total 
pledges received from the Jews twenty-seven thousand dollars. This 
generous cooperation was one of the essential factors in the final 
success achieved. The fact that the Standard Club and the Jews 
generally were making this volunteer contribution for the new insti- 
tution did much to invite public attention and interest of all classes 
of citizens in the movement." 

The amounts which the University of Chicago received from 
Jewish citizens in the past thirty-five years in the form of contribu- 
tions, endowments and bequests is amazing. Here is a partial list, 
containing only amounts of fifty thousand dollars and upward and 
it runs into the millions: 

Mr. and Mrs. Max Epstein, gave $100,000.00 for the Epstein 
Clinic, February 5, 1917. $50,000.00 endowment of Epstein Clinic. 
$100,000.00 for Development Fund, January 26, 1925. $100,000.00 
for the Lying-in Hospital, an out-patient department operated as 
a part of the Max Epstein Clinic, December 19, 1927. $25,000 a 

199 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

year, for five years, first payment to be made on July *st, 1929, 
towards the support of the University Clinics. $1,000,000.00 for the 
erection of an art building which will be part of the University 
as a whole but which will elect a separate Board of Trustees. To 
be known as "Institute of Fine Arts of the University of Chicago, 
Founded by Max Epstein." September 21, 1929. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Hertz gave $75,000.00 to be expended by the 
University of Chicago in the study of disorders of the pituitary 
gland and related conditions, with special reference to their treat- 
ment. February 28, 1929. 

Mrs. Edward Hillman gave $50,000.00 bequest in the form of 
a trust fund to aid students in government, agriculture and political 
economy. (Edward Hillman Scholarship Fund) April 14, 1927. 

Mr. Louis D. Kuppenheimer gave $250,000.00 to establish an 
endowment fund, the "Louis B. and Emma M. Kuppenheimer 
Foundation" in the department of Ophthalmology, September 2, 
1927. 

Mrs. Adolph J. Lichstern gave $1,000.00 to the Harper Library, 
1908. $5,000.00 to the Medical Schools, 1919-20. $241,401.37 from 
the will of Mr. Lichstern, August 8, 1929. 

Mrs. Leon Mandel gave $550.00 for various purposes, 1894-1909. 
$85,000.00 for Mandel Hall, 1902-04. $3,000.00 to Harper Library, 
1908-09. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse L. Rosenberger gave $43,096.07 for the Rosen- 
berger Educational Fund and Medal Funds, 1914-27. $1,458.51 to 
be added to the previous contributions: $958.51 to be added to 
prize fund and $500.00 to Medal Fund July 11, 1929. 

Mr. and Mrs. Julius Rosenwald gave $1,500,000.00 to different 
departments and for different purposes 1904-25. $5,000.00 addi- 
tional for four years beginning 1927-28 and ending 1930-31. $7,500.00 
toward defraying cost of library at Luxor, May 1927. $250,000.00 
to Building Fund of Lying-in Hospital, December 1927. $250,000.00 
toward the erection of a building for physics, astronomy, and 
mathematics, January 1928. $5,000.00 Student Loan Fund in mem- 
ory of Dr. T. W. Goodspeed, January 1928. $50,000.00 for Samuel 

200 



]EWS IN HIGHER LEARNING 

Deutsch Foundation. 8,000 shares Electric Bond and Share Com- 
pany common stock (in addition to 4,000. shares previously re- 
ported) and 10,000 shares Radio Corporation of America, common- 
stock — purpose to be designated later by Mr. Rosenwald. $2,000.00 
for the support of a study of dependent negro children by the 
school of Social Service Administration, March 13, 1930. 

The University of Chicago has had two prominent Jews as 
members of the Board of Trustees: Mr. Eli B. Felsenthal, a well 
known practicing lawyer who has been serving on the Board since 
1892, when the University came into being. In accordance with a 
resolution recently passed by the Board he is soon due to become 
an honorary member, after serving for forty years. Mr. Julius 
Rosenwald was the other member of the Board of Trustees and it 
is obvious that his influence has been greatly felt. 

The entire undergraduate student body of the University of 
Chicago numbers about seven thousand. Of these, seven hundred 
and fifty, or ten and one half percent are Jewish students, a ratio 
which is about in proportion with the percentage of the Jewish 
population in Chicago. 

For some unknown reason Northwestern University has not been 
as fortunate as the University of Chicago in receiving gifts from 
wealthy Jewish donors; and yet, in the past ten years the amount 
of Jewish contributions to Northwestern University exceeds one 
million, one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars, as is 
shown by the following list. (It is worth while calling the atten- 
tion to some of our wealthy brethren that because their endow- 
ments, gifts and bequests were not in most cases designated as 
Jewish, they were not recorded as such and therefore can not be 
credited to the account of our people.) 

The following list of contributions to Northwestern University 
is acknowledged to come from Jews: 

Joseph B. DeLee 

1923 — Medical School $ 10,000 

1929 — " " 100,000 $110,000 

201 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Max and Harry Hart 
1926 — Julius Rosenthal Foundation 20,000 

Mrs. Levy Mayer 

1924 — Law School $549,000 

1929 — " " 301,000 850,000 

Mrs. George Pick 
1926 — Julius Rosenthal Foundation 20,000 

Lessing Rosenthal 
1926 — Julius Rosenthal Foundation 20,000 

Julius Rosenwald 
1925 — Children's Dental Clinic 39>ooo 

Mrs. Joseph Schaffner 

1922 — School of Commerce $ 10,050 

1927 — Joseph Schaffner Library 50,000 

I 93° — " 10,000 70.050 

III 

JEWS AGAINST JEWS 

"Abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is the like of death." 
In 1910, in the city of Chicago, tragedy again stalked the Jew. It 
was no Titus of Rome, no minions of the Babylonian army, nor 
a Haman in the kingdom of Persia that beset him. This was a 
combat between Jews and Jews. In the late summer, when a 
congressional committee in Washington was investigating immi- 
gration conditions in the United States and considering the ad- 
visability of closing its gates against "undesirable" foreigners, forty- 
five thousand garment workers in Chicago became involved in a 
bitter struggle which attracted the attention not only of the entire 
labor world, but stirred the interest of all thinking men and women. 
Eighty percent of the workers were Jews and ninety-five percent 
of the manufacturers were Jews, hence Chicago Jewry was divided 
into two camps: wealth, power and influence on one side, manual 
skill, drudgery and sweat on the other. 

The conflict was entirely unpremeditated on either side. Tal- 
mudic legend tells us that the tongue of a wagon caused the de- 

202 



JEWS AGAINST JEWS 

struction of the city of Better, the university seat of Judaea. It is 
often that great catastrophes spring from such insignificant causes. 
This disaster which involved one hundred and eighty thousand 
human beings directly and many more indirectly, was precipitated 
by sixteen girls. The number of garment workers that joined the 
strikers, according to reliable authority brought the total to forty- 
five thousand bread winners. Estimating an average of four de- 
pendents to every bread winner, the number of persons left bread- 
less, homeless and penniless reached one hundred and eighty thou- 
sand. This means that the entire Ghetto was affected; landlords, 
grocers, butchers, bakers and all the other purveyors of merchan- 
dise and service who did business with these people. From a 
small, compact volume, entitled "The Clothing Workers of Chi- 
cago" I quote the following extracts : "The strike rose directly from 
the industrial conditions of the workers of Chicago. There really 
were no definite demands; the demands were that conditions must 
be changed; nobody knew exactly what they wanted; they wanted 
something better of course or different. 

"The conditions were the inevitable result of the nature and 
organization of the industry itself, coupled with the unorganized 
and defenceless conditions of the workers. A glance at the history 
of the competitive struggle between the Chicago Wholesale 
Clothier's Association (an organization of big concerns formed 
in defense against the new small tailor shops) and the big firm 
that refused to enter the Association — Hart, Schaffner and Marx — 
is enough to show how the independent tailors and later the 
contractors, were all caught in the same system. Gradually, under 
the competition of more powerful firms the smaller inside shops 
were driven out of independent business. Many of them turned 
their inside shops into contract shops and began to work for these 
big firms on a contract basis. The contractors thus found them- 
selves caught between the upper and the nether millstones of the 
association firms and their rival, Hart, Schaffner and Marx. They 
became mere pawns in the fight for supremacy. The first tactical 
move in this struggle came in response to a tactical increase in 
contractor's prices granted by the Association houses, when Hart, 

203 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Schaffner and Marx suddenly withdrew all work from their con- 
tract shops and opened in their place inside shops employing over 
eight thousand tailors. This step was the signal for a drive on 
the part of both competitors to reduce their labor costs. The con- 
tract system lent itself easily to reduction in wages, for the con- 
tractors would pass the price of reductions demanded by the manu- 
facturers onto the workers by lowering their rates. At the same 
time Hart, Schaffner and Marx would try to preserve its com- 
petitive position by cutting wages of its workers. This whole 
process, also, made easy by the prevalence of piece work in an 
unorganized market. Without protection of their piece rates, the 
workers would be speeded up and then, when their earnings in- 
creased, would have their piece rates cut. A seasonal industry, un- 
organized workers, contractors, produced their natural and in- 
evitable consequences — low earnings, excessive hours and helpless- 
ness, which could be relieved only by a powerful and continuous 
organization of those who worked in the industry. 

"... It is all the more astonishing, in view of the workers' lack 
of organization, and their fear of losing their jobs that the strike 
grew to be more serious than any of the frequent sporadic flare- 
ups that had been so prevalent in the industry, and thus far so 
futile . . ." 

The evidence adduced by the Illinois State Senatorial committee, 
in its investigation of the strike, is now on file in the archives 
of the State and a perusal thereof reminds one of the slavery of 
the children of Israel to the Pharaohs in the land of Egypt. The 
resentment of the workers had in fact piled up through the years 
of injustice until almost anything would have served to start the 
blaze. The first spark was struck on September 22, in shop No. 5, 
a pants shop owned by Hart, SchafTner and Marx, when several 
girls walked out rather than accept a rate cut of one quarter cent. 
A delegation of workers went to Hart, Schaffner and Marx ask- 
ing them to withdraw the fraction of a cent cut, but the firm 
refused to acquiesce to their demand. Contrary to all expectations, 
this spark caused a conflagration. Workers in many shops im- 
mediately followed the example of shop No. 5 with the same en- 

204 



JEWS AGAINST JEWS 

thusiasm. It seemed as if they had only been waiting for some- 
one to give the signal. The strike grew so fast and the number of 
workers that joined the revolt, so large that in a few weeks its 
leaders appealed for assistance in coping with the strikers, and 
for speakers to address their meetings. They invoked the aid of 
the Chicago Women's Trade Union League, of which Mrs. Ray- 
mond Robins was the President. 

The distress, suffering and general conditions in the Southwest 
and Northwest parts of the city where most of the workers lived 
was beyond description. A citizens' committee was organized to 
make an investigation of the true conditions and on November 
fifth they published a report prepared by Professor Mead. Miss 
Breckinridge and Miss Nichols, all three of the University of 
Chicago. The report was based on the testimony of the employees 
of seventeen firms and the thirty-one shops of Hart, Schaffner and 
Marx. It read as follows: 

"In the opinion of the committee, the natural method of re- 
moving the causes of irritation in the shops and of making a more 
healthful and social life there possible, is some form of shop or- 
ganization among the workers in the shop. The industry is so 
very complicated, the labor so highly subdivided, the dependence, 
of the operatives on the foreman so great, that it seems next 
to impossible to bring about normal conditions, unless the oper- 
atives themselves are able to express their own views and their 
own complaints through committees and this without fear of 
loss of position or the enmity of the foreman . . . Some form of 
representation of the operatives which will mediate between the 
worker and the employer, seems to be necessary in order that the 
point of view and the conditions of operatives may be recognized 
in the matter of shop discipline, and especially in order that minute 
grievances may find a natural expression instead of being piled up 
to give rise to such wide spread of industrial and social disturb- 
ances as we have witnessed during the last ten days." 

It is needless to say that the police force was, as usual in such 
cases, almost literally placed in the hands of the manufacturers. 
They exercised the most brutal power to coerce the workers and 

205 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

prevent them- from using the only means they had : peaceful picket- 
ing. "Every day was marked by arrests and assaults and generally 
at least one riot in some part of the city. Finally the climax was 
reached when two pickets were shot down and killed by strike 
breakers." On November 5, Mr. Rickert, President of the United 
Garment Workers, signed an agreement with Hart, Schaffner and 
Marx. When submitted to the strikers for a vote it was overwhelm- 
ingly rejected because of a complete failure on the part of the firm 
to recognize the existence of a union and to deal with it accord- 
ingly. It is most remarkable that in the presence of starvation 
and great suffering, they did not lose sight of the main ideal, 
Trade Unionism, and were willing to endure continued suffer- 
ing, without knowing how much longer it might last. It finally 
reached a state where the strikers gained universal sympathy and 
even churches organized committees to help them. The Reverend 
Jenkin Lloyd Jones addressed a letter, endorsed by the industrial 
committee of the Churches of Chicago, to Hart, Schaffner and 
Marx, urging arbitration. And here, too, something new was hap- 
pening. Those gentlemen who were always extremely mindful 
of "What the Gentiles will say," at this time turned a deaf ear to 
all that the Gentiles had to say. The letter was not answered, and 
the letter together with a statement of all the facts and circum- 
stances was published in the daily press. 

The stubborn refusal by both associations of manufacturers to 
arbitrate the demands of the workers or even to treat with them, 
caused Alderman Merriam, a professor of the University of Chi- 
cago, to force the City Council to adopt a resolution providing for 
the appointment of a committee to arbitrate and attempt settle- 
ment of the strike. The firm of Hart, Schaffner and Marx agreed 
to meet the committee and the union leaders in an attempt to 
arrive at some agreement, but the Manufacturers' Association re- 
fused to participate in any conference at which union representa- 
tives were present. The Senatorial Committee's investigation of 
the strike resulted in the same defeat; the committee urged the 
association to submit a plan for settlement. Mr. Rose, President 

206 



JEWS AGAINST JEWS 

of the National Wholesale Tailors Association, sent the following 
reply: "The National Wholesale Tailors Association respectfully 
declines to submit to such a proposition, as no strike now exists in 
our branch of the industry. All of our employees that we can use 
have returned to work,." 

The Hart, Schaffner and Marx representatives met the strikers' 
committee as was suggested by Professor Merriam and an agree- 
ment was reached which provided in substance for the return of 
all former employees of Hart, Schaffner and Marx, except those 
who were guilty of violence, within fifteen days from the date of 
signing. No discrimination was shown against any employee be- 
cause of membership or activity in a union. An arbitration com- 
mittee of five was created, two members to be selected from each 
side and a fifth by these four, to take up and consider the griev- 
ances of the employees and devise a means of settling these griev- 
ances in the future. In spite of the pressure that was brought to 
bear on the strikers, this agreement was voted down on December 
8, eight days after the proposed settlement was submitted to them 
for approval. Their contention was that the words in the con- 
tract "except those guilty of violence" implied desertion from their 
leaders, and also that the agreement failed to recognize the exist- 
ence of the Union. 

The repeated refusal of the Association to submit to arbitration, 
provoked an influential Chicago newspaper, generally opposed to 
strikes and strikers to publish the following editorial comment: 
"Hunger and cold as potent peace factors alienate the sympathy 
of the great majority of reasonable humane citizens." The first 
settlement was made January 9, 191 1 with the firm of Sturm and 
Mayer, who were members of the Association. The new contract 
which eliminated the offending clause concerning those guilty of 
violence, was accepted by the Hart, Schaffner and Marx strikers 
at a mass-meeting held in the Hodcarriers' Hall. The meeting 
was addressed among others by Sidney Hillman and Mariempietry. 
All the speakers urged the workers to accept and approve the 
terms of the new contract. 

207 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

IV 

AFTER THE CLASH 

No great struggle is in vain, even when the main object of the 
struggle is defeated. When the smoke of battle has cleared and 
the debris has been moved, when hatred leaves its abode in the 
hearts of men and wild passion no longer impels human action, 
when we can look, out with clear eyes again, we behold greatness 
even in those whom but yesterday we regarded as our bitterest 
enemies. Every upheaval, every calamity and every disaster gave 
to Catholicism a Saint; every great physical and spiritual conflict 
revealed to the world heroes and great men. Even local clashes be- 
tween capital and labor did not fail to bring forth splendid types 
on both sides, such as Eugene V. Debs in the Railroad Strike 
and John Mitchell in the Pennsylvania Coal Strike. And so too, 
the Clothing Workers' Strike in 1910 revealed to us three splendid 
types of manhood: Joseph Scharrner, Sidney Hillman and Samuel 
Levin. 

Joseph SchafTner, the son of German-Jewish parents, was born 
March 23, 1848 in Reedsburg, Ohio. His schooling was typical of 
the times, consisting of a few years in Grammar School. When 
he was barely twenty-one years of age he came to Chicago, after 
a short residence in Cleveland. His efforts to earn money were 
spurred by his desire to contribute to the support of his parents. 
One of his biographers says: "His endowments were the Jewish 
inheritances of character, ambition and mental alertness.'' From 
some unknown source he received a stimulus to read and he learned 
to choose good literature. Shakespeare was one of his earliest 
friends and this friendship lasted all through his life. In 1888, he 
planned to go Northwest on a new business venture. The plan 
did not mature, for he suddenly formed a partnership with Hart 
and Marx and embarked in the manufacturing of clothing. 

It is characteristic of the human species to crave most for the 
things denied it. Because Joseph Scharrner was unable to acquire 
a college education, he yearned for it to the last of his days. When 
he found it was too late to realize his ambition, he tried to help 

208 



AFTER THE CLASH 

others achieve the education for which he had so helplessly longed. 
This he accomplished by offering prizes to students for essays on 
economic subjects and this is where his interest in labor begins. 
Before the turmoil of 1910, one of the awards offered by Mr. 
Schaffner went to a young student, named Earl Dean Howard 
who was then attending an Eastern University. When Joseph 
Schaffner met him in person he was captivated by the fine per- 
sonality, charming manners and brilliant mind of the young man. 
He induced him to come to Chicago and continue his studies at 
Northwestern University. Up to the time of the Strike Mr. Schaff- 
ner's interest in the business was confined entirely to the merchan- 
dising end, the manufacturing part was not in his line. When the 
strike gathered momentum and began to attract public notice 
Joseph Schaffner became greatly concerned about it. He was aware 
of the progressive views which young Howard entertained on the 
eternal question of Capital and Labor. In strict confidence he en- 
gaged the young man to investigate privately and quietly the con- 
ditions of the workers, to ascertain the real causes of the strike and 
to report the results to him. Earl Dean Howard did as he was 
asked and gave Mr. Schaffner a true picture of the conditions as 
he found them. This unbiased statement of the facts wrought a 
complete change in the attitude of Joseph Schaffner. He was then 
sixty-two years of age and at that period of life had no intentions 
of making changes or assuming new responsibilities. The clothing 
industry had only a short time before emerged from the contractor's 
stage, or by its more popular name — the sweat shop system where 
there were no relations between the manufacturer and the actual 
workers. He was astonished and offended that he and his partners 
should be regarded as reactionary exploiters and be held responsible 
for the situation. "There was no lack of advice from employers 
experienced in labor disputes. They all warned him of the danger 
in making any concession to the workers, especially as it might 
encourage unionism in Chicago," says his biographer. Unionism, 
he was told, was the great menace which would jeopardize the 
institution so successfully built up by his associates and himself in 
the past years and of which he was so proud. Still he could not 

209 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

disregard the voice of his conscience and a feeling of melancholy 
overcame him. 

Since his biographer deals here with personal details I shall per- 
mit myself to quote him verbatim: "Mr. Schaffner's mind be- 
came completely obsessed with the strike and he could think of 
little else. He endeavored to find some plan which would solve 
the problem. His sound and cautious business sense, however, 
would not permit him to adopt some course simply because it 
made a strong appeal to his generous sentiments without weigh- 
ing it carefully as a business proposition. He soon caught the con- 
cept that 'the good will of the employees is a business asset com- 
parable to the good will of the customer and it shortly became the 
guiding principle in his thinking on industrial relations ... He 
was prepared also to estimate at its true value the approval of 
public opinion and he could easily see that in the future the public 
was likely to become more and more interested in the conditions 
under which the clothing they wore was manufactured . . ." The 
strike was finally settled by an agreement to arbitrate but it was 
only the first step in a movement that paved the way for a system 
in which strikes would be impossible in the future. 

A careful study of the amicable system now prevalent in the 
shops of Hart, Schaffner and Marx makes it at once evident to 
the mind that no such system could remain in practice unless the 
employers were men whose sense of social justice was highly de- 
veloped. The conditions are as nearly perfect as they could be 
under the present system of society (to borrow a socialistic phrase). 

It is shocking to learn the prejudices of different people. The 
members of the National Manufacturers Association were so em- 
bittered against Mr. Schaffner for his liberal views on labor prob- 
lems that they never forgave him for it. They succeeded in aveng- 
ing themselves when Mr. Schaffner made application for mem- 
bership in a certain club to which many of them belonged. Be- 
cause of his progressive and humane ideas Joseph Schaffner was 
blackballed. 

Earl Dean Howard is now a professor at Northwestern Univer- 
sity. At the same time he occupies the position of Director of 

210 



INTERNAL STRIFE 

Labor in the Hart, Schaffner and Marx organization and is chair- 
man of the National Board of Labor, a group which regulates the 
clothing industry. 

Sidney Hillman and Samuel Levin were the outstanding leaders 
of the strike of 1910. Both men have since acquired international 
fame for their insight, honesty and zeal in the cause of the labor 
movement. Sidney Hillman has since the famous strike become 
the president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America 
and has built up the soundest labor union in this country. He is 
respected and admired by all who come in contact with him, 
whether employer or employee. Samuel Levin is Chairman of 
the Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of Chicago 
and has earned in that position the esteem and regard of his associ- 
ates. In all his dealings his word is binding and his promise is 
inviolate. 



INTERNAL STRIFE 

"Ein Jahrtausend schon und laenger 
Dulden wir uns bruederlich; 
Du, du duldest das ich atme 
Das du rasest dulde ich." 

The relationship between the two classes in Jewry, Reform and 
Orthodox, was one of "dulden/' condescension, patience and for- 
bearance. Now and then manifestations of some friction arose but 
they were soon subdued and hushed and the world at large knew 
nothing of them. In the last year of the first decade of the new 
century a fierce battle which embraced the religious, social and 
economic life of the immigrants was waged between the two groups. 
The conflict was inevitable, it was the result of accumulated abuses 
which could be endured no longer. 

Michael Reese Hospital was the only Jewish hospital in the city. 
It had been built many years before as a charitable institution for 
poor Jews, which implied: the Orthodox Jews. Reform Jews and 

211 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Jews of wealth could find care and comfort in any other hospital, 
but not so the religious Jew. In a time when he suffered physical 
pain he needed more than ever a place where his language would 
be understood as well as his habits and customs, a hospital with a 
Jewish atmosphere. More than that it was important that an ortho- 
dox Jewish patient should not be compelled to violate his life-long 
religious principles. The food administered to him during his ill- 
ness must be prepared in accordance with the dietary laws pre- 
scribed by his religion. Human nature is such that even people 
inclined not to be too rigid in their religious practices ordinarily, 
are assailed by the old religious superstitions when overtaken by 
sickness. The nearness of death terrorizes their souls and produces 
a state of mind in which all the old faiths must be conciliated. 

In about 1907, a new wing to the Michael Reese Hospital was 
being constructed. A movement was started for the installation of 
a Kosher kitchen in the hospital. Strange as it may seem, this 
movement found many sympathetic supporters among staunch ad- 
herers of Reform Judaism. A conference was called at the Standard 
Club, for discussion of this very question. It was an interesting 
gathering, from the point of view of the many shades of opinions 
that were represented. After the subject was discussed at con- 
siderable length and various opinions were expressed Dr. Emil G. 
Hirsch rose to speak. My memory does not preserve all that he said 
but the substance of his eloquence was that Michael Reese Hos- 
pital was the finest institution of its kind throughout the land; its 
buildings, equipment and medical staff surpassed all other hos- 
pitals; but alas, it was not for those for whom it was originally 
intended. It gave no comfort to the Orthodox Jew for it lacked 
a Kosher kitchen. He went on to say that many of those people 
preferred to suffer unrelieved pain rather than violate their religion 
in the last days of their existence. In spite of his plea, the argu- 
ment of Moses E. Greenebaum, president of the hospital, that a 
Kosher kitchen would entail additional expense was more con- 
vincing and the project of a Kosher kitchen for Michael Reese 
Hospital was defeated. 

In the autumn of 1893 a youth of sixteen came to Chicago. Ten 

212 



INTERNAL STRIFE 

years earlier he had been brought by his parents to the city of 
Scranton, Pa., from Suvalk, Russia. Benjamin H. Breakstone at- 
tended the schools of Scranton and after graduating from high 
school he came hither. He was eager for a medical career, an am- 
bition coupled with an ideal, for the practice of medicine would 
present wide fields for human service. His parents were poor and 
could give him no assistance. He made his home with his uncle 
and aunt, Selig and Hannah Bregstone. Shortly after his arrival 
in the city he successfully passed the Federal Civil Service examina- 
tion and after a brief interval was appointed to the local postomce. 
He worked at night and the day he used for study. And so by 
dint of self-denial and hard work he succeeded in completing his 
studies in the Rush Medical College which was already affiliated 
with the University of Chicago. Soon thereafter he passed the State 
medical examination and was admitted to the practice of medi- 
cine. A year later he had conferred upon him the degree of Bach- 
elor of Science. From the very beginning he had an aptitude for 
surgery and devoted himself exclusively to that branch of his pro- 
fession. Young, energetic and skillful, he became before long, one 
of the most prominent surgeons in the city. 

Unlike most scientists, Doctor Breakstone was intensely interested 
in social welfare; he took part in the early beginnings of all the 
Jewish institutions on the West Side. He was active in the build- 
ing of the Home for the Aged, the Marks Nathan Home and to- 
gether with the young Jewish "Intelligentsia" he interested himself 
in the establishment of a Hebrew Institute. However, his greatest 
ambition was to create a Kosher Hospital. In this aspiration he was 
not alone; almost every Jewish doctor on the west side indulged 
in the same dream, and nursed the same hope. The reason becomes 
obvious only when the attitude of the members of the staff of 
Michael Reese Hospital towards their Jewish colleagues is made 
known. Since the beginning of the existence of the Michael Reese 
Hospital a group of physicians* and surgeons whose fathers were 
contributors towards its maintenance formed a monopoly and per- 
mitted no Jewish doctor who was not of German descent to be- 
come a member of its staff, regardless of his ability or renown. 

213 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Even the internes, although selected by competitive examination, 
were oddly enough, all German Jews. This condition was not only 
an insult to the Jewish doctors on the West Side, but it even af- 
fected their economic position. When one of them had to send 
his patient to the Michael Reese Hospital, it meant the loss of 
a patient, for he was barred from attending him and giving him 
further medical treatment. To protect themselves the Jewish Doc- 
tors practicing West of the Chicago River were compelled to adopt 
a policy of retaliation; wherever possible they avoided sending their 
patients to Michael Reese Hospital and rarely called into consulta- 
tion any member of the Michael Reese group. 

This silent war continued for many years and the doctors boy- 
cotted by their co-religionists nourished the desire to have a hos- 
pital of their own on the West Side. It would really have a three- 
fold purpose: it would mark the consummation of the freedom of 
the Russian Jew from his dependence on his German brethren, it 
would provide the religious patient with a Kosher hospital and 
Jewish atmosphere, and it would give the excluded doctors an 
equal opportunity with those who discriminated against them. The 
resentment of the Jewish Doctors against the Michael Reese Hos- 
pital grew more and more bitter; they refused to be identified with 
it or its staff in any manner or for any cause. 

Their bitterness increased as they chafed under the unfairness 
of their exclusion, but they saw no chance of retaliating. Doctor 
Breakstone among the others, saw in the boycott the frustration 
of his ambitions and his fighting instincts were aroused. Though 
naturally a gentle, easy-going person, he possesses a lively temper 
which is touched off by the slightest suspicion of injustice or un- 
fair discrimination. And though he risked the antagonism of a 
powerful force, he cried aloud at the great wrong perpetrated by 
a minority against a majority struggling for a mere existence. 
Translating his words into action he organized a movement for 
a Kosher Hospital on the West Side. Those who joined in the 
movement at the beginning were his colleagues in the medical 
profession who had been included in the boycott. Today he can 
say in the words of the great champion who dedicated his life 

214 



INTERNAL STRIFE 

to human freedom and human rights: "I did not conceal from 
myself what frightful antagonists rank, influence and wealth are . . . 
I knew this without being restrained by it. The obstacles, the 
sacrifice, the dangers did not frighten me; but had I known what 
unworthy and infamous slanders would be cast at me, how the 
purest motives would be twisted and perverted into their exact 
opposite and what ready credence the most miserable lies could 
find; well, I hope my resolution would not have been changed, 
but it would have cost me a hard and painful struggle." Doctor 
Breakstone may be loath to admit it but the fact is that he is the 
victim of his own ambitions and his fighting qualities. Recognized 
by friend and foe as one of the ablest surgeons, he had no difficulty 
in attracting to the cause most of the West Side medical men and 
soon the movement embraced the entire community. Men in all 
walks of life joined in the rebellion of this last phase of the emanci- 
pation. Particularly active was the group, headed by Harry M. 
Fisher and S. J. Rosenblatt, which included Max Korshak, I. Lurya, 
Moe Joseph and Louis Samkowitz. 

Doctor Breakstone, as a skilled surgeon, must have had a thor- 
ough knowledge of the human body but he demonstrated a lack of 
understanding of human nature. He placed too much confidence in 
those whose cause he was fighting. He abided his trust in them and 
believed that they would always stand by him, but it was they who 
cast the first stone and aided in the attack that almost crucified him. 

By the strenuous efforts of the Orthodox community the Mai- 
monides Hospital was finally completed. The building on Cali- 
fornia avenue and Fifteenth street was by no means a pretentious 
one but every brick therein represented the soul of the people who 
so laboriously worked for its achievement. All sorts of auxiliaries 
were organized in all parts of the city for the benefit of the in- 
stitution. Esther Breakstone, the mother of Doctor Breakstone, 
organized a women's auxiliary. in the Lawndale district with a 
membership of nine hundred. 

It was at the completion of the hospital, when the rooms were 
all furnished and the doors thrown open to receive patients that the 
war for extermination was waged against it by the Associated Jew- 

215 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ish Charities. Intrigues and vicious politics took the place of erst- 
while ideals and high-minded principles. In the midst of it all 
Doctor Breakstone was betrayed and deserted by his former friends. 
All the mishaps that took place (and the infant organization had 
its share of mistakes inevitable in any new inexperienced institu- 
tion) were unloaded on his shoulders and he was made the scape- 
goat. 

Maimonides Hospital could not long survive the terrific pres- 
sure, it was subjected to — both from within and without. Its doors 
closed shortly after they were opened and "scientific charity" was 
once more the victor over sentiment and uncontrollable ambition. 
Doctor Breakstone swallowed his disappointment and if he was 
disillusioned in the goodness of his fellowmen he gave no sign 
of it. 

Doctor Breakstone is the possessor of certain natural gifts and 
great virtues. As a surgeon he enjoys a reputation which is almost 
national in scope. He has travelled far and wide, in many parts of 
the United States, at the invitation of leading medical men to 
perform operations. Although impeded in speech he is a splendid 
lecturer and always absorbs the attention of his audiences. As a 
man, he is capable of friendship that knows no limits and many 
of the ills he has suffered are due to his generosity and boundless 
loyalty. He suffers from one great fault which is likely to preju- 
dice those who do not know his inherent sincerity. I refer to his 
egotism. It is amusing to hear him discuss his accomplishments 
just as if he were speaking of some one else. However, this is no 
mere superficial egotism born of a smallness of soul but rather a 
great confidence and trusting faith in his own ability. 

About four years ago I visited him at his hospital, and on enter- 
ing his private office, found him engaged in a telephone conver- 
sation. When he hung up the receiver, he turned to me a mien, 
expressive of worry and anxiety and said: "Some more trouble. 
That was a call from the University of Illinois, informing me that 
my son is very ill. The symptoms indicate appendicitis. He will 
be brought here about six o'clock and must be operated on at once. 
Will you take care that my wife hears nothing of this and keep 

216 



A REFORM BETH MIDRASH 

her out of the way until I am through with the operation?" I 
inquired calmly: "Are you going to perform the operation?" He 
retorted quickly, and without a trace of self consciousness : "Why 
not? He is my son and deserves the best I can give him. I cer- 
tainly cannot give him better surgical attention than my own." 
His reply came with simplicity and I knew that this was no beau 
geste. True, it was the height of egotism but there could have 
been no surer evidence of his belief in himself than this act of 
assuming the responsibility of his own son's very life without 
having even the knowledge and support of his wife. 

Doctor Breakstone, like all men who attain distinction in certain 
fields of endeavor, is endowed with a genius that comes from the 
gods and is subject to the frailties to which all humanity is heir. 

The Maimonides Hospital stood vacant for some time until the 
associated Jewish Charities took it over, changed its name to "Mount 
Sinai Hospital" added a new building and made other improve- 
ments. Almost all of the evils that prevailed in the Michael Reese 
Hospital were eliminated, for which a great deal of the credit be- 
longs to the efforts of Doctor Breakstone and his group of West 
Side physicians. And the Jews of the Orthodox faith have a Kosher 
Hospital. 

VI 

A REFORM BETH MIDRASH 

In 191 i Sinai Temple prepared to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary 
of its existence. The Board of Trustees of the congregation decided 
that the manner of celebrating this milestone in the history of the 
Temple must be in accordance with the position Sinai occupies in 
the world of Jewry. After due consideration, it was agreed that 
the event take form in the erection of a new building to fill the 
needs of a membership which "had outgrown the old structure. 
A site was selected and purchased for the new edifice on Grand 
Boulevard and Forty-sixth street. The beginning of the sixth dec- 
ade would find the congregation worshipping in a new home. 
While the Board of Trustees was occupied with the material form 

217 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of the celebration, Doctor Emil G. Hirsch, the Rabbi of Sinai con- 
gregation, was reflecting also on the celebration of the momentous 
occasion but his mind was occupied with its spiritual significance. 
His thoughts turned back to the history of the Synagogue, the old 
Beth Midrash, the part it played in Jewish life at all times and in 
all places and he decided that the new Temple on Grand Boule- 
vard, which was to be a monument to Chicago and its Jews must 
be more than a mere edifice of imposing architectural magnificence, 
its interior adorned lavishly and expensively for the use of the 
supplicants who entered its doors one day a week. He was de- 
termined to have built adjacent to the Temple a real Beth Midrash 
(House of learning) to function in the same capacity as that his- 
toric institution functioned throughout the ages, only this one 
would necessarily be conducted on more modern principles. When 
he expressed his desire to the members of the Board of Trustees 
his plan was immediately adopted and included in the program 
of the new Temple; and work was begun on the two buildings. 

To the chagrin of all, however, the celebration of the fifty year 
old congregation did not take place in the new Temple, but was 
held in the old home on Indiana avenue and Twenty-first street, 
for the new edifice was not completed until just before the high 
holidays in the year 1912. At the same time the Sinai Social Center 
also was opened. Two years later, Doctor Joseph Pedott, super- 
intendent of the Center set forth aims and purposes of the Center 
in a little booklet, thus: "To provide a Jewish social, educational, 
cultural and civic Center for the Jewish community of Chicago, 
where young and old, parent and child, Jews of all nationalities 
regardless of material or social standing, can meet and find them- 
selves in a truly Jewish atmosphere, radiant with the Jewish spirit, 
reawakening in the Jew an historic consciousness, reviving in the 
home the beautiful old Jewish family life and instilling in the youth 
a love for and an appreciation of the old Jewish virtues in man- 
hood and womanhood; in short a place where might be inaug- 
urated the true renaissance of things Jewish." I am confident that 
no Orthodox Rabbi would hesitate to subscribe to this formula of 
Jewish education, social intercourse and culture. But of even 

218 



A REFORM BETH MIDRASH 

greater interest than the foregoing are some of the subjects listed 
to be taught in the new Center: Jewish History and Religion, 
Current Jewish Topics, Jewish Philosophy, Hebrew, Yiddish Liter- 
ature, and others of a similar nature. In the eighteen years of its 
existence, the Sinai Social Center (which name has been changed 
to "Emil G. Hirsch Center") has strictly fulfilled its promise and 
today ranks as the second greatest Jewish Center West of New 
York. 

The spirit of Doctor Hirsch dominates the Center; the influence 
of his wisdom, his scholarly mind, lofty ideals and poetic soul 
still hovers about the place. It was fortunate for the many thou- 
sands who have derived the benefits of this institution and who 
now participate in its activities that early in its life Doctor Hirsch 
found a young man to conduct and direct the Center's affairs whose 
mind readily absorbed all the fine qualities and virtues which the 
older man possessed. Samuel D. Schwartz, Executive Director of 
the Emil G. Hirsch Center and Financial Secretary of Sinai Con- 
gregation, came to the Center in 1914, to be the assistant to Doctor 
Joseph Pedott. In 1916 he assumed complete charge of the affairs 
of the institution. 

Samuel D. Schwartz was born in the city of New York, on 
August 11, 1890. In 1895, his father Moritz and his mother, Bertha 
(Solomon) Schwartz moved with their family to Chicago. Moritz 
Schwartz was a pious Jew and at the same time a man of the 
world. With Jacob Friedman he organized the "Agudath Achim" 
Hungarian Congregation, and for many years served as its pres- 
ident. When the boy Samuel, was six years old he was sent to 
a Cheder which he attended six years. From the age of twelve 
until he was twenty-one he studied under the tutorship of the 
scholarly and lovable Rabbi M. Fischer, spiritual leader of the 
Congregation Agudath Achim. Sam pursued intensively the study 
of the prophets, Mishnah and the Talmud. Moritz Schwartz en- 
tertained no ambitions that his son become a Rabbi, but he did 
want him to be a "Lamdon." Sam attended the University of 
Chicago where he received the degrees of Ph. B. and M. A. In 191 1 
he took a position at the Hebrew Institute teaching English to a 

219 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

class of immigrants. He was instrumental in organizing the Edu- 
cational League. When Doctor Pedott became superintendent of 
the Hebrew Institute he appointed Schwartz chief director of clubs. 
In September 1914, Schwartz resigned from the Hebrew Institute 
and one month later came to Sinai Center. For two years he served 
his apprenticeship, after which he was appointed Executive Di- 
rector. With a love and admiration such as is found only in youth, 
he became a strong admirer of Doctor Hirsch while the latter 
found in the young man a friend, a pupil, an associate and a co- 
worker. Here on one side was youth, enthusiasm and a desire to 
do things; on the other side was age, experience, wisdom and a 
remarkable ability to penetrate the future. These two became fast 
friends and each was greatly enriched by what he received from 
the other. 

In the fourteen years that Samuel D. Schwartz has been at the 
head of the Emil G. Hirsch Center it has become one of the great 
institutions in the country. Schwartz is a modern Jew, with the 
emphasis laid particularly on the noun. This emphasis is greatly 
felt in the institution where he functions as Executive Director. A 
refined Jewish atmosphere is prevalent throughout every classroom. 
The Center maintains a completely equipped gymnasium and 
swimming pool and a wide variety of clubs for young and old 
of both sexes. Its facilities are enjoyed by multitudes in all strata 
of society, but it is always "borne in mind that this is primarily 
a Jewish institution in the broadest sense of the term. Jewish 
thought, and Jewish learning, therefore occupy a very prominent 
place in the program of the Center." 

Probably the most important feature of the center is the lecture 
course on Monday evenings. Outstanding lecturers from all parts 
of the United States and Europe are brought to the Temple to 
lecture or debate with their equals on important current problems 
and subjects of universal interest. This series draws an audience 
from all over the city; the widespread fame of the speakers alone is 
enough to fill Sinai Temple to capacity. Quite often hundreds of 
people are turned away from the crowded auditorium. 

To Samuel Schwartz must be given the credit for inaugurating 

220 






DEVELOPMENT OF A MOVEMENT 

this feature, shaping it into form and securing its tremendous popu- 
larity. Not only does he arrange the course of lectures on a number 
of well-diversified subjects for a season that lasts eighteen weeks, 
but to my knowledge he is the originator of the idea on so large 
a scale — an idea that has met with so much success that innu- 
merable other organizations have been impelled to follow his 
example. Mr. Schwartz recently informed me that while many of 
the departments in the Center are running at a financial loss, the 
lecture course provides an income sufficient to maintain itself and 
also to cover the deficiency incurred by the other departments. 

VII 

DEVELOPMENT OF A MOVEMENT 

"Great national movements never attain maturity in a day or a 
year. Their progress is glacier-like, gradual, steady and often im- 
perceptible, without haste yet without rest like the march of the 
stars." Causes that spring up suddenly and unheralded, are as a 
rule revolutionary in character and are doomed to disappear as 
suddenly as they appeared. Movements which start in the hearts 
of a people and become part of its very life and being, are slow 
of growth, yet the slowness with which they mature is itself a 
sign of vigor and long life. To the latter type belongs modern 
Zionism as founded by Doctor Theodor Herzl. The growth of 
Jewish Nationalism has been exceedingly slow. It took almost 
two thousand years before a concrete plan was formulated for the 
rebuilding of the national home in Palestine and even after the 
plan was completed and accepted it still proved imperfect and 
full of errors. 

It is natural that a movement whose aim is to unite all Jewry 
throughout the world should receive diversified interpretations 
from different factions and from groups in various parts of the 
world. Our present interest is in the party that was developed by 
reason of its own interpretation, the faction known as Poale Zion. 
To trace its origin with all the implications and intricate move- 
ments of the various phases of the Russian revolution among the 

221 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Jews and its final crystallization into a distinct group which identi- 
fies itself as the labor party in the Jewish national movement, would 
require a voluminous history of its own. But once the "Juden Staat" 
stressed the political and economic phases in the life of the Jews 
in the diaspora, it was inevitable that such a party should come 
into being. Many of the more progressive elements in the Zionist 
movement, saw in the formation of the new labor party a sign 
of hope and encouragement. The platform of the Poale Zion con- 
tained a hyphenated principle: Jewish Nationalism and Cosmo- 
politan Socialism. This is not the place to discuss the consistency 
or inconsistency of the two principles seemingly opposed to each 
other. It is interesting however, to observe this manifestation in 
the Zionist movement of a faction composed of young men and 
women, who at a meeting to further the ideal of a Jewish home- 
land, would simultaneously discuss "The Iron Law of Wages" or 
"Das Kapital" and gather to hear lecturers speak on the life of 
Lassalle, Heine or Boerne. The party had its origin in Russia in 
1901, whence it spread into Austria, America and Palestine. 

Poale Zionism, the labor party of the Juden Staat, came to Chi- 
cago in 1905. There were only few Zionists in this city who realized 
the significance of the new party. Besides lending to Zionism a 
moral strength, for it carried the conviction that Zionism was truly 
a national movement and not the enterprise of a few philan- 
thropists or religious fanatics, it also brought into the folds of the 
cause men and women who were heretofore considered lost to all 
things of a Jewish nature. The Socialism of those days was en- 
tirely different from that of today. Whereas today it reckons with 
one common enemy, Capital, a quarter of a century ago Socialism 
combated a "three-headed monster": Capital, Religion and Na- 
tionalism. Thus, one who embraced the cause of Socialism was 
completely lost to Judaism. The Poale Zionist distributed his 
propaganda chiefly among the laborclasses and secured meanwhile 
many recruits to the Zionist ranks. 

There were six men who played leading roles in founding and 
promoting Poale Zionism in Chicago. Bernhard J. Shapiro took 

222 



DEVELOPMENT OF A MOVEMENT 

part in almost every Jewish movement, but devoted himself par- 
ticularly to this cause. He remained its able leader for many years, 
up until the time of his death about six years ago. Morris Silbert, 
a former member of the Bund, a man with a splendid Jewish 
background and an erstwhile member of the editorial staff of the 
Daily Jewish Courier, was another organizer and ardent worker 
of the Poale Zion group. While still a medical student Doctor Max 
Dolnik became interested in the cause. A young man with a keen 
intellect he played an important role among the progressive youth 
in Russia and was regarded as a theoretician in Political and Social 
Science. His affiliation with the movement lent it considerable 
prestige. He has since become a successful and prominent physician 
but he is still a student, engaged not only in research work related 
to his profession but devoting himself to the study of mass-psychol- 
ogy, national movements and the soul of a people. He is a versa- 
tile and fluent speaker, master of a beautiful Yiddish and possessor 
of a keen sense of humor. Doctor I. Marcus, who also is an able 
lecturer and a student of Social Science, Julius Savit, a lawyer and 
superintendent of the Old People's Home (B.M.Z.) and A. Kaplan, 
a vigorous and intensive worker complete the sextet who organized 
the Poale Zion in this city and who carried on its work for many 
years. 

In September 1909, the Poale Zionist organization of America 
held its convention in Chicago. The event was of great significance. 
It was a gathering of three international bodies: the Socialist-Revo- 
lutionists, a group that played an important part in Russia during 
the revolutionary movements of the last quarter of the nineteenth 
century, were headed by Chaim Zhitlovsky; the Socialist-Territori- 
alists were represented by the late Doctor Nachum Sirkin and 
Abe Goldberg, and the Poale Zion organization which was host 
to the other two. The three bodies had a common political and 
economic purpose, therefore they assembled to effect an amalga- 
mation of the three. In the nineteen years which have intervened 
since then, many things have happened in the history of the world 
and in my own life; things sufficient to crowd out the memory 

223 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of far more important events, but I shall never forget some of 
the incidents of that gathering. It is the memory of scenes like 
these that keeps my spirit young. They remind me of the enthusi- 
asm to which man can rise. I recall particularly the events follow- 
ing the report of the committee on consolidation; there was con- 
siderable discussion among the various representatives, but the 
motion was finally submitted to a vote and was carried. I have 
seen great demonstrations, during which thousands of people were 
swayed by the passion of triumph or anger, but none could com- 
pare with the display of emotion by this little group of one hundred 
and fifty or at most two hundred men and women. The climax 
came when the stately and patriarchal looking Zhitlovsky so far 
forgot his dignity as to throw his arms about the short, stubby, 
black-bearded Nachum Sirkin and the two remained in a long 
embrace. When quiet and order was restored Zhitlovsky delivered 
one of his master orations. He concluded by saying: "Up until 
now we preached Zionism to the Zionists and Socialism to Social- 
ists, from now on we shall reverse the order, to the Socialists we 
will preach Zionism and to the Zionists we will preach Socialism!" 

In the train of the Poale Zion came another faction in the Zionist 
movement, the Misrachi. The Rabbis and the strictly religious 
members of the general Zionist organization began to fear that 
the radical element, who by this time had become a power in the 
International Zionist Congress, might undermine Orthodox Juda- 
ism in the new-old homeland in Palestine, therefore as a matter 
of self-protection they organized the Misrachi. There was still 
another vast distinction in the main principles of the two factions: 
the labor party (Paole Zion) was for cultural work as opposed 
to political action, the clerical party (Misrachi) was in favor of both 
political and cultural work in Palestine. 

In Chicago the Misrachi took form in 1913, the year when Rabbi 
Maier Berlin visited the city. Among its most active workers were 
Rabbi Ephraim Epstein, William Farber, H. Halper, Rabbi Jacob 
Levinson, Samuel Levin, Rabbi Eliezer R. Muskin, Rabbi Saul 
Siber, H. Rubinstein, Morris Zevin and Mordchai Zevin. 

224 



PAWS OF THE RUSSIAN BEAR 

VIII 

PAWS OF THE RUSSIAN BEAR 

The thirst of the Russian autocracy for the blood of its count- 
less victims was not quenched. It was not satisfied with the 
lives of those whom it had incarcerated in the dungeons of Saints 
Peter and Paul, or sent to cold frozen wastes of Siberia. It stretched 
out its paws across the Atlantic into the United States to seize 
more victims upon whom to feast. In 1908, agents of the Russian 
espionage system who were scattered the world over, arrested in 
this city a man named Christian Rudovitch and charged him with 
the crimes of larceny, arson and murder, alleged to have been com- 
mitted by him in Russia. He was kept here in jail until the proper 
extradition papers were sent on from Russia and then was taken 
before the United States Commissioner who was to be the sole 
judge and jury over his fate. 

Rudovitch was not a Jew. He was a common workingman who 
had joined the revolutionary movement in Russia. The secret police 
had sought him for his participation in a revolutionary outbreak, 
but he made a successful getaway and came to Chicago. Here he 
found employment in the steel mills in South Chicago and worked 
diligently until his arrest. Russia was eager to test the provisions 
of its treaty with the government of the United States. Under the 
laws of the United States our treaties with other nations have a 
provision making it obligatory to deliver up to each other persons 
charged with capital crimes. If one commits a crime in the United 
States and makes his escape to another country, upon a warrant 
issued by any Justice of the Peace and accompanied by a demand 
of the Secretary of State the person charged with the offense will 
be delivered to the proper authorities for trial. Under our treaties 
the United States is obligated likewise, except that it will under no 
circumstances deliver an offending person whose crime consists 
of a revolutionary act against the government demanding the ex- 
tradition, even if the charge be murder. Rudovitch admitted cer- 
tain of the charges that were made against him, but claimed that 
they were committed in the course of his revolutionary activities. 

225 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

It was therefore incumbent upon the Russian government to prove 
that Rudovitch was no revolutionist and that the crimes were those 
of a common criminal, caused by an "abandoned and malignant 
heart.' , 

Baron von Schlippenbach, the Russian counsul in Chicago was 
represented by Rubens, Moss and Fischer, a prominent law firm 
and Mr. Rigby, a member of that firm conducted the proceedings 
before Commissioner Foote. Peter Sissman, an attorney, then as- 
sociated with Clarence S. Darrow, represented Rudovitch. He threw 
himself into the case with all his energy and for almost two entire 
months, he was engaged in a terrific legal fight before the Com- 
missioner. As the proceedings progressed he was joined by his 
eminent partner, Clarence Darrow and later by Charles C. Hyde, 
a recognized authority on constitutional and international law. The 
hearing before Commissioner Foote attracted world-wide attention 
and though it had no direct bearing on the Jewish question stirred 
the Chicago Jews in particular to the highest pitch of resentment, 
they fully realized the significance of the new move made by the 
Russian government. It was obvious that once the Russian bear 
laid its paws on Rudovitch, he would be treated not as an ordinary 
criminal but as a political offender. Those who knew the method 
of dealing out justice in Russia, knew what would happen to the 
unfortunate victim for whose blood it was craving. 

The defense was confronted with two grave dangers: the first 
was that the commissioner knew little or nothing of the legal 
intricacies involved, and the second was that his decision in the 
case would be final. Late in January the Commissioner made his 
findings and as it was feared, every point was made in favor of 
the Russian government: that the crimes with which Rudovitch 
was charged were actually committed, that there was probable 
cause to believe that these crimes were committed by him, and not 
as a revolutionist but as a common criminal. He therefore ordered 
that Rudovitch be delivered over to the Russian government. 

These findings and the resulting order of extradition delivered 
by an insignificant government official whose position corresponds 
to that of a mere police magistrate, was a terrible shock to all 

226 



PAWS OF THE RUSSIAN BEAR 

free-thinking and liberty-loving people. But what stirred the con- 
science of the American people most was the thought that this 
country whose liberties were purchased at the cost of human lives, 
should give aid to a despotic hierarchy in the persecution of men 
striving for constitutional rights. This sentiment swept over the 
land and reached a climax when it became known that there was 
no appeal from the decision of the Commissioner. The newspapers 
of this city were deeply interested in the Rudovitch case and at 
this juncture they all came forward with long editorials, expressing 
their sympathies for the cause of Russian freedom and condemning 
Russian despotism. As no other tribunal had jurisdiction over 
matters of this kind, the Commissioner's order appeared final and 
could not be reviewed by any other court. However, there was one 
recourse left open to the defense, a petition to the State Depart- 
men. This would place the whole matter in the hands of the 
Secretary of State, submitting it entirely to his discretion, if he 
desired to interfere in this matter. No time was wasted and a 
formal petition was filed with the department of which Elihu 
Root was the head. 

Meanwhile, in order to influence Elihu Root in the direction of 
public opinion and to compel him to take cognizance of the Rudo- 
vitch matter, a monster protest meeting was arranged on a Sunday 
afternoon in one of the largest theatres in the city. The committee 
of arrangements included the most prominent men and women: 
leading lawyers, merchants, statesmen, divines, professors and social 
benefactors. In back of all the proceedings was the invisible hand 
of Miss Jane Addams who usually works incognito in all progres- 
sive movements. Walter L. Fischer, a distinguished lawyer who 
later became a member of President Taft's cabinet, was chairman 
of the meeting. Early in the afternoon thousands of people were 
turned away from the already overcrowded theatre. It is needless 
to say that the greatest part of the audience was Jewish. They 
regarded the Rudovitch affair as a matter of their own, a conflict 
not only between them and Russia but also between the Czar and 
the Jews of America, a trial in which the people of the United 

227 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

States were acting in the capacity of a jury. There were two great 
moments in the life of the Russian Jews in America, one was when 
the American treaty with Russia was abrogated, because Russia 
refused to honor the American passport in the hands of a Jew; 
the second was when the American statesman, Elihu Root, disre- 
garded the order of United States Commissioner Foote and dis- 
missed the entire proceedings against Rudovitch; thereby rescuing 
him from the Russian Bear's paws. 

IX 

THREE BROTHERS 

Reb Pesach Davis was a highly respected member of the Jewish 
community in his native city. His was a home of true culture 
and refinement. His oldest son, Haim, became a physician and 
specialized in mental diseases. James Davis, his second son, was at- 
tending a private pension, in Koenigsberg, preparing himself for 
a scientific career, when suddenly Reb Pesach met with reverses 
in business and his two elder sons, Haim and James, embarked 
for America. A year or two later Reb Pesach, his wife and the 
younger children followed the two sons, and came to Chicago. 
Dr. Haim Davis soon qualified himself according to the laws of 
the State of Illinois to practice his profession and in a brief period 
of time he established a lucrative practice while James engaged in 
the business of paint and wall-paper. 

Abel, the youngest of the three brothers, was of grammer school 
age when he was brought here and he entered public school. After 
finishing high school he matriculated in the Law School of North- 
western University. Like most boys in the adolescent age, Abel 
was fascinated by the shining buttons of a soldier's uniform. He 
was thrilled at the sight of the militia on parade and he yearned 
to join a military organization. As soon as he was old enough he 
persuaded his father to give his consent and he joined the First 
Infantry of the Illinois National Guard. 

When war was declared between the United States and Spain, 
Abel was still a student at law school. His was the only Illinois 

228 



THREE BROTHERS 

regiment called out to march on Cuba. He accompanied his regi- 
ment as a private but was soon promoted to a corporal. On his 
return from Cuba, he resumed his legal studies. In 1902, on the 
very same day that he was admitted to the bar, he was elected to 
the Illinois State Legislature. In 1904 he was a successful candidate 
for Recorder of Deeds of Cook County. When the four year term 
expired, he was renominated and reelected for a second term. In 
1912 he retired from politics and organized the "Real Estate Title 
and Trust Co." The new organization with Abel Davis at its head, 
made rapid progress, until the Chicago Title & Trust Company, the 
oldest company of its kind, found it expedient to absorb the new 
competitor, and Abel Davis was retained as Director and Vice 
President in charge of the financial department. 

In 1916, when the First Illinois Infantry was dispatched to the 
Mexican border, Abel Davis went with the regiment as Major. A 
year later when the United States entered the World War and the 
Thirty-third Division was organized at Camp Logan, the First 
Regiment of the Illinois National Guard became part of that Divi- 
sion as the 131st Infantry, and Major Davis was promoted to 
Lieutenant Colonel. His Division was composed of about thirty 
thousand men, three thousand of whom were raw, undisciplined 
rookies upsetting to the morale of the entire Division. The staff 
officers decided to take out these three thousand men and with 
them as a nucleus to organize another regiment. By that time Abel 
Davis had acquired a reputation as a disciplinarian and since disci- 
pline was the main requirement of such a regiment he was given 
the rank of Colonel and placed in command. When the Division 
was ordered to the front he was Colonel of the 132nd Infantry. 
He retained command of that regiment throughout the war. Sev- 
eral honors and decorations, such as the Distinguished Service 
Medal, the Distinguished Service Cross and Officer of the Legion 
of Honor of France, were bestowed on him in recognition of serv- 
ices rendered to his country and the allied forces. On his return 
home from the field of battle he was again honored, this time by 
his own State, and was promoted to Brigadier General. 

229 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

For the Jews to be able to claim a General in the United States 
Army, and especially one who made the grade step by step, purely 
on the strength of his own merits, is of no small importance to 
the prestige of our people, but the honor, in the case of General 
Davis is especially valuable, because he has always identified him- 
self with his people by his deep devotion to all worthy Jewish 
causes. For many years he has served as Director on the Board 
of the Jewish Charities and he was among the foremost in rank 
in the numerous drives for relief of the war sufferers in Europe. 
His patriotism is of the sweeping, inpulsive kind that has no 
patience with words in time of a crisis. 

Somewhat of a different type is James Davis. His patriotism is 
not less than his brother's but he is more tolerant and broadminded, 
with a wider outlook on life and a deeper insight into human 
emotions. His vast experience in social welfare has taught him 
tolerance and his strong sympathies for all humanity allow him to 
condemn none. He is very modest by nature and seeks no honors 
or recognition for the great amount of good he has accomplished 
in this city. James Davis can add to his credit the fact that he was 
the first who undertook to fill the spiritual void that separated the 
West Side Jews from their South Side brethren. He was the first 
to span a bridge between the Jews who came from Western Europe 
and those from Eastern Europe. He began by taking part in the 
labor of shaping and modeling the destiny of the Chicago Jewish 
Community not as a "Charity worker" nor as one who doles out 
food to poor — but as one who appreciates the psychology of the 
newly arrived immigrants and realizes the danger of trying to 
pauperize them. He joined the movement for a Hebrew Institute 
and for the past quarter of a century has directed his energy to 
the social welfare and spiritual development of the Jewish com- 
munity. He is a devoted Zionist, an untiring worker for Jewish 
education and a member of the Board of Jewish Charities. 

Dr. Haim I. Davis, the eldest of the three brothers, came to the 
United States in 1892 and having brought with him a medical 
diploma from a European University he found no difficulty in 
passing the Illinois State Medical Board examination. His profes- 

230 



MORE TYPES OF WOMANKIND 

sional career was a supremely successful one. For almost ten years 
he was at the head of the Psychopathic Hospital of Cook County; 
for several years he has held the position as Senior Attending 
Neurologist at the Michael Reese Hospital. He occupies the chair 
of psychiatry in the Medical School of the University of Illinois. 

Dr. Davis is somewhat different from both of his brothers. He 
lacks the ambition with which the General is endowed, but he 
surpasses him in impulse. He lacks some of the modesty of his 
brother James, but accordingly displays a greater vitality and self- 
reliance. All three brothers seem to be ruled by the passion of 
patriotism but the patriotism of the Doctor is quite different from 
that of his two brothers. He demonstrated that it was possible to 
be a devoted son of his people without sacrificing any of his loyalty 
to his adopted country. When he enlisted in the Red Cross in 
191 8 and was sent to Eastern Europe he rendered the highest de- 
gree of service to his country and at the same time brought solace 
and succor to thousands of his suffering brethren. 

Dr. Davis' is an extremely interesting personality. He is intense 
and impulsive in all of his actions and possesses more than an 
ordinary degree of independence. 

Dr. Davis has been for many years a member of B'nai B'rith and 
was for a term the President of the sixth District. He is regarded 
as one of the important leaders in the councils of the organization. 
His experiences as Major in the Red Cross in the war-ridden and 
pogrom-stricken area of Poland and the Ukraine are gruesome 
beyond description. The photographs taken by his own camera 
are like the paintings of Abel Pan; they are graphic witnesses 
of "Man's inhumanity to his fellow man," but the vividness of 
color and the terrible atrocities which they portray can hardly be 
reproduced in words. 

X 

MORE TYPES OF WOMANKIND 

We are told by the biographer and historian, Jacob de Haas, in 
his "Theodor Herzl" that early in the life of the Zionist move- 

231 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ment, Dr. Herzl wrote him a letter urging that Jewish women's 
clubs be utilized for the furtherance of Zionism. In 1912 a small 
group of intellectual women, devoted to the advancement of Jewish 
nationalism, organized under the leadership of Henrietta Szold, 
what became k^own as Hadassah. The main purpose of the 
organization was to serve as a public health agency for Palestine. 
A year later it modestly began its work by sending two Jewish 
trained nurses from America to act as visiting nurses in Jerusalem. 
From 1921 to 1929 Hadassah raised close to three and a half million 
dollars for Palestinian welfare. 

In June 1913, the Zionist Federation of America held its annual 
convention in the city of Cincinnati. During a recess in the con- 
vention proceedings, Mr. H. L. Meites one of the ten delegates 
representing the Chicago organization, met Miss Szold and asked 
her why she never visited Chicago. With her characteristic frank- 
ness, she replied: "Because I was never asked." "Would you con- 
sider my own individual request as an invitation?" She answered 
in the affirmative. She promised that she would communicate with 
him as soon as she was ready to undertake the trip. The following 
autumn she notified Mr. Meites that she was preparing to visit her 
sister, Mrs. Jastrow and her brother-in-law, Professor Jastrow of 
the University of Wisconsin, at their home in Madison, and would 
make arrangements to spend a day or two in Chicago. It was at 
a dinner given by Mr. and Mrs. Meites in honor of the distinguished 
visitor, that plans for the Chicago Chapter of Hadassah were form- 
ulated, and later that evening, at a conference at the Hebrew In- 
stitute the launching of the organization was completed. The fol- 
lowing names appear on the charter: Mrs. Augusta H. Silver, pres- 
ident; Mollie Levitus, treasurer; Anna Levin, secretary; Mrs. Ben- 
jamin Davis, Mrs. Isadore Natkin, Mrs. A. Levenson, Mrs. H. Mo- 
ment, Jennie Perlstein and Hannah Shulman. 

Hadassah is now the largest and most influential woman's or- 
ganization in American Jewry and the Chicago branch occupies 
a prominent place in the structure. The Chicago area is now di- 
vided into seven autonomous districts each of which transacts its 
affairs under the general jurisdiction of the central body which 

232 



MORE TYPES OF WOMANKIND 

is composed of representatives of the subsidiary groups. The total 
membership of the seven branches numbers three thousand. In 
addition there are thirteen junior groups with a membership of 
a little over twelve hundred. 

The Hadassah has a two-fold purpose — to promote health insti- 
tutions and kindred enterprises in Palestine and to foster Zionist 
ideals in America. The extent of its scope can readily be seen by 
the size of its membership. It has two hundred and ninety-six 
chapters with thirty-eight thousand members and two hundred and 
fifty-seven junior groups with a membership of ten thousand. It 
has established a scientific system of medical and hygienic care for 
all elements in Palestine's motley population. Its institutions and 
service include: four hospitals and five dispensaries, two Straus 
Health Centers, the Clara Wachtel Dental Clinic, medical service 
in fifty rural districts, an x-ray institute, a nurses' training school, 
supported by the Junior Hadassah, twenty-one infant welfare sta- 
tions, eighteen pre-natal and post-natal clinics, obstetric service, a 
mental hygienic clinic etc. etc. Hadassah is active in America also, 
sponsoring culture groups in the study of Jewish history, Zionism, 
current events and Hebrew, spreading general propaganda to arouse 
interest in Zionism, and raising funds for the annual budget for 
Palestinian work, achieving in this work a sum close to a half a 
million dollars. 

Two of the most active women in Hadassah work in this city 
to whose unceasing labor most of its success is due, are Miss Pearl 
Franklin and Mrs. Harry Berkman (Bertha Jerusalimsky). Both 
of these women have participated in every activity that stands for 
Jewish idealism. Pearl Franklin was born and raised in Hunting- 
ton, a small town in Indiana where there were no other Jews ex- 
cepting her own family, her father, Meyer Franklin, her mother, 
Rachel (Weinstock) and her sister, Lillian. It was not until she 
entered the Indiana State University that she became acquainted 
with others of her own race. In 1914 she came to Chicago and 
entered the University of Chicago, where she took her degree of 
Master of Arts. In 1917 she took her LL. B. degree at the Chicago 
Kent College of Law and shortly thereafter was admitted to the 

233 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Illinois Bar. Since then she has divided her time between the 
teaching of civic and commercial law in Hyde Park High School 
and the active practice of law. I met her while she was still a 
student at the University of Chicago and we discussed Zionism. 
It was the first time in her life that she had contemplated the 
idea that independent of the religious doctrines in Judaism there 
were also national aspirations and an ideology that soared high. 
The seed of nationalism was planted in her youthful and romantic 
soul at that time. She joined the Hadassah in 1921 and not long 
afterwards became its president. She occupied that office until about 
a year ago, when she was succeeded by Mrs. Berkman. When 
Pearl Franklin assumed the presidency of the Hadassah it was 
small in membership and insignificant in influence; the number 
of members not exceeding three hundred. Under her leadership 
and with the support of her sister Lillian, Mrs. Harry Berkman, 
Mrs. Bertha Read and Mrs. Isadore Natkin, Hadassah multiplied 
tenfold in size and a hundredfold in importance. Pearl Franklin is 
now one of the vice Presidents of national Hadassah, and a mem- 
ber of the Jewish Agency. She is the founder of the Chicago Junior 
Hadassah. Lillian Franklin teaches in Bowen High School. She 
is a graduate of the University of Indiana and has taken special 
courses in the Sorbonne University in Paris, France and at the Uni- 
versity of Berlin, in Germany. She is no less interested in Zionist 
activities than her sister. 

Bertha Berkman is one of the early Zionists and one of the first 
members of the Clara de Hirsch Gate of the Order Knights of 
Zion. Besides the idealism that the Zionist movement imparted 
to its followers, it proved an excellent school for diffusing the art 
of social welfare and communal work. When the Hebrew Institute 
was opened on West Taylor Street, with Doctor Blaustein as its 
superintendent, Bertha Jerusalimsky became a member of the office 
staff. Her knowledge of Zionism served her here in good stead, 
since the first years of its history the Institute was greatly under 
the influence of Zionism. The young woman fitted exceptionally 
well into the scheme and it required but little time before she 
was conversant with every department in the institution. She ex- 

234 



MORE TYPES OF WOMANKIND 

hibited a remarkable understanding of the aims and purposes for 
which the Institute stood. At about the same time, a young man, 
bright and alert, joined the official family of the Hebrew Institute. 
Harry Berkman, recognized as one of the ablest physical-culture 
directors came to the Institute to take complete charge of all the 
athletic activities. For a number of years the two followed their 
individual course in that large busy organization, where thousands 
came and went daily, and no one suspected that here romance was 
weaving its pattern between the two. Miss Jerusalimsky was osten- 
sibly supervising the work of the office and young Berkman was 
developing Jewish wrestlers and prizefighters, and teaching Jewish 
youths how to strengthen their bodies and harden their muscles. 
There was little time for romance in the daily occupation of either 
of them and yet one day in the year 1916 the Jewish world centered 
around the Hebrew Institute awoke to read a story in the news- 
papers of love, romance and an elopement. For Harry Berkman, 
director of physical culture and Bertha Jerusalimsky, in charge of 
the office of the Chicago Hebrew Institute had gotten secretly 
married. 

For the past twelve years Mrs. Berkman has been an active mem- 
ber of the National Council of Jewish Women. For eight years she 
was chairman of the Immigration Committee and for four years 
she was vice-president of the Chicago Section. Last spring she was 
reelected to the same office. She took part in the drives for Jewish 
war-sufferers and in 1919, she was co-chairman with Mrs. Hannah 
G. Solomon, of the women's division. Mrs. Berkman has engaged 
in many Jewish movements but the impelling force of all her 
activities is the spirit of Zionism. She is an intelligent worker, 
honest in her convictions and practical in constructive work. Ha- 
dassah has made an excellent selection for she is a worthy successor 
to Pearl Franklin. 

Before I close the Chapter, I must quote from a report made 
by the permanent Mandate Commission to the Council of the 
League of Nations: "The Commission expresses appreciation of 
the important contribution of Hadassah toward public health in 
Palestine. This contribution is important not only professionally 

235 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

but socially and politically as well, in view of its rendering service 
to all sections of the population." 

Among those who have cooperated with the officers of the Ha- 
dassah and have done splendid work are Mrs. Harry M. Fischer, 
Mrs. S. H. SobororT, Mrs. Max Shulman and Mrs. Leon B. Sager. 



XI 

ARCH HUMORIST 

Whenever I think of S. J. Rosenblatt, there comes to my mind 
the "Little earthly German Aristophanes" with his passionate eager- 
ness and poetic longing to create a new creed, the Religion of 
Laughter. "Three times a day, morning, noon and eventide I 
woud worship my deity and pay him homage with laughter." I 
often think that this new god of laughter must have appointed 
Rosenblatt as his High Priest in the sanctuary dedicated to this 
new religion. It was this exceptional quality in Rosenblatt — the 
ability to laugh and make others laugh — that brought him material 
success and made him one of the most popular men in Chicago. 
The fountain of humor is free to all, "Come ye and drink all who 
are thirsty," might be inscribed below this fountain, but there are 
relatively few who have the genius to avail themselves of the in- 
vitation and still fewer whose wit and humor remain as free of 
cynicism and bitter sarcasm as did that of Rosenblatt. His wit was 
never offensive and never cruelly aimed at some tender hidden 
sore under its good natured banter. His humor contained a touch 
of pathos. It was like Dvorak's "Humoresque," it was always diffi- 
cult to decide whether to laugh or cry. 

Samuel J. Rosenblatt was born on March 17, 1866, in the province 
of Kovno, Russia. While still a child his parents moved to Riga, 
now the Capital of Latvia. He attended Cheder and later became 
a student in the Gymnasium. At the age of seventeen he came to 
the United States and settled in the city of New York. He was 
apprenticed to a printing establishment and as "printer's devil," 
learned the trade of a type-setter. Thereafter he engaged in his 
own printing business. In 1905 he came with his wife and three 

236 



ARCH HUMORIST 

sons to Chicago. Here he tried his hand at several things and 
finally decided on the insurance business. It was a hard struggle, in 
a strange city and without friends, but his sense of humor carried 
him through. After eight years as an insurance solicitor he became 
a general insurance agent and better days began to smile on him. 
Once freed from the economic struggle, he devoted his time to 
the weal of the Jewish Community. By mere coincidence, Harry 
M. Fisher was among the first men whom he met in Chicago. The 
two became fast friends and much of the success of one was due 
to the other. With Fisher he joined the group of young physicians 
who under the leadership of Doctor Benjamin H. Breakstone were 
working earnestly to interest the Orthodox element in building 
a Kosher Hospital. Here for the first time perhaps, Rosenblatt 
realized the power of his personality and what could be accom- 
plished with his gift of combined humor and pathos. Rosenblatt 
was no public speaker, for he lacked the vocabulary and the elo- 
quence, but few men could hold an audience as he could, alter- 
nately convulsed with laughter and surreptitiously reaching for 
handkerchiefs. It was amazing to watch him stir the emotions 
of his hearers with the telling of a story ; and all the errors in gram- 
mer and diction merely added charm to the telling. It seemed 
to the listener that the story would not be half as effective if it were 
told in perfect English in a dignified oratorical manner. 

While the activities of S. J. Rosenblatt began with the Mai- 
monides Hospital, this institution was not to be considered among 
his great achievements. Far more reaching and of greater magni- 
tude was the organization of the Orthodox Jewish Federated Chari- 
ties which stands out as a monument to the rebels in the last and 
most effective revolt of the immigrant Jews, and Rosenblatt played 
no small part in that movement. This revolt (led by the trium- 
virate composed of Bernard Horwich, Judge Harry M. Fisher and 
S. J. Rosenblatt) brought complete emancipation to Chicago Jewry 
from Eastern Europe. Since 1913 no local movement of any sig- 
nificance in the life of the Jewish community or action affecting 
the Jews of the world was organized without S. J. Rosenblatt as 
one of its leaders. However the most brilliant chapter in his life 

237 ■ 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

was his labor in behalf of the war-sufferers. He took an active part 
in every war drive and spared neither his time, money nor energy. 
As vice-president and acting president in the absence of B. Horwich 
of the war-relief campaign, he became known through his ir- 
resistible approach and ability to raise funds as the "Leader of 
the Wrecking Crew.' , 

Upon the consolidation of the "Federated" and the "Associated" 
Charities, Rosenblatt was elected a member of the Board of Di- 
rectors of the combined Jewish Charities. He was a director of 
the Marks Nathan Orphan Home and a director of the Children's 
Welfare Council. He was appointed a member of the City Park 
Board four times by Mayor Harrison and once by Mayor Thomp- 
son. He was also a member of the North Shore Park Commission. 
Rosenblatt was active in the Zionist Organization and was a mem- 
ber of the national Executive Committee of America. Immediately 
after the war, he travelled with his wife through Europe and visited 
the various Jewish communities that his own eyes might see the 
post-war conditions of his fellow-Jews. He visited Palestine and 
returned with much inspiration and enthusiasm for the Jewish 
Homeland. 

S. J. Rosenblatt played a role of importance in all public matters. 

XII 

EAST AND WEST 

As the corner where the old memories are stored is stirred up, 
there comes to the surface one which has been buried there for a 
quarter of a century. Leon Zolotkoff and I had been attending a 
Zionist convention in an eastern city. We were both members of 
the resolutions committee; Miss Henrietta Szold was also a mem- 
ber of that committee. After a long and tedious session which 
lasted until a late hour of the night, my friend, Zolotkoff and I 
decided to walk back to the hotel, leaving Miss Szold in the com- 
pany of several other women delegates at the hotel where the com- 
mittee's conference had been held. For a long time Zolotkoff and 
I walked along in silence. I was thinking of this wonderful woman, 

238 



EAST AND WEST 

of her mental and moral force and the great power she was exer- 
cising on the world about her. Suddenly Zolotkoff broke the silence. 
"Whenever I come under her influence I feel as if one of the 
daughters of ancient Israel had stepped out of the Testament and 
was with us in the flesh." I was not surprised that he too was 
occupied with thoughts identical to mine, but what impressed me 
was that he found so apt an expression for the thought which I 
had struggled in vain to give utterance. Yes, a woman of flesh and 
blood descended out of the Biblical Album! and that woman was 
Henrietta Szold! 

The same year that she laid the cornerstone in Chicago for an 
Hadassah chapter, Miss Szold brought into being another organiza- 
tion, the "Committee for Palestine Welfare." She had been invited 
to come to Chicago to lecture for the Chicago Woman's Aid. Mrs. 
Julius Stone met the distinguished visitor through her Zionist ac- 
tivities and arranged a reception for her at her home. Henrietta 
Szold, newly inspired by a recent visit she had made to Palestine 
delivered a message filled with the stirring experiences of that visit; 
the result of her talk was the "Palestine Welfare." Mrs. Albert H. 
Loeb was elected president, Mrs. Julius Stone, Mrs. Moses L. Purvin 
and Mrs. Joseph Stolz, vice-presidents, Mrs. Julius Rosenwald, treas- 
ures, Mrs. Lee J. Lesser, recording secretary, and Mrs. Ben Auer- 
bach, financial secretary. This small group of Jewish women of 
wealth and culture accomplished considerable good for the in- 
habitants of Palestine, but even of greater value was the prestige 
which their names lent to the Zionist movement. 

Projecting in bold relief from that splendid group are two women 
who particularly arrest my attention, because of the long selfless 
service each of them contributed to the cultural aspect of Jewish 
Chicago. They differ greatly from one another and yet there is 
a strong similarity between the two. They represent two different 
cultures as well as two different hemispheres, but in their devotion 
to their people and love for humanity there is little to distinguish 
one from the other. They are Mrs. Julius Stone (Goldie Tuvin) 
and Mrs. Moses L. Purvin (Jennie Franklin). 

Mrs. Julius Stone was born in Plocksch, province of Suvalk, Rus- 

239 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

sia, January 20, 1874. Her father was a man of erudition who 
enjoyed a comfortable income as a landowner. At the age of six- 
teen Goldie came to Chicago to pay a visit to an older brother who 
had made his home here. Her brother died during her visit here 
and she remained here. Later her mother and the rest of the 
family joined her in Chicago. She attended school and received the 
same education which girls of her age and station in life were 
given in Plocksch plus the study of English. This consisted of a 
general knowledge of the sciences and a few modern languages. 
Thus she grew from girlhood into womanhood. Her first venture 
into social welfare begins with the early stages of the Orthodox 
Old People's Home. In a simple manner she relates the story of 
how she became interested in the work. "One evening Doctor 
Kate Levy called on me and when I invited her to remove her 
wraps she said: 'I did not come to stay, I want you to come with 
me to a meeting of a new Society.' At my look of inquiry she 
added : 'Its purpose is to build a Kosher home for the aged.' I was 
still too young to understand the difference between German Jews 
and those from Eastern Europe. My understanding had always 
been 'Koll Isroel Achim' (All children of Israel are brothers) and 
I demurred, 'But what shall I do there, what good will my presence 
do?' Kate Levy was persistent and so I went with her. I sat through 
the meeting without taking part in the discussions, until I heard 
one of the speakers say: 'We have been regarded long enough as 
"schnorrers," it is time that we take care of our own poor.' This 
remark penetrated my very soul and touched me to the quick; 
the thought came to my mind: 'Is it possible that my own father 
might be regarded as a schnorrer?' This incident aroused in me 
a spirit which prompted me to action and I entered into the work 
of the Old People's Home with all the fervor of my youth. I was 
determined to help remove any possibility of there ever being the 
stigma of Schnorrer fastened to my father's name." 

Since then Mrs. Julius Stone has been an active worker for her 
people, in every field of philanthropy, social welfare, national 
ideals and cultural pursuits. What is most to be admired in her 
is that she has no particular cult, she has given herself to no par- 

240 



EAST AND WEST 

ticular "ism," her program is not limited. Anything that tends to 
relieve suffering, promote happiness and raise the social, intellectual 
or moral standard of her people is included in her work. Some one 
once applied to her the name "The Jewish Jane Addams," but with 
all my admiration for Miss Addams, I feel the title is not properly 
applied. Goldie Stone can be no one else but herself, a true daughter 
in Israel. She follows no other philosophy except that which she 
inherited from her ancestors: social justice, truth, kindness and 
generosity, the pillars upon which all Judaism rests. The daily 
morning prayer of a Jewish maiden contains the words: "I will be 
good and kind, mindful of my parents and teachers and will ex- 
emplify the noble deeds of all good people." Goldie Tuvin, when 
a little girl repeated this prayer every morning before tasting food, 
meaning it and practicing it until it became a part of her existence. 
Early in the history of the Chicago Hebrew, Institute Mrs. Stone 
became its secretary and is still acting in that capacity. She was 
also secretary of the Jewish Orthodox Federated Charities and was 
one of its organizers. She cooperated with Mrs. Joseph Fish (Edna 
Bensinger, now Mrs. Charles King Corsant) in the organization 
of the Josephine Club. Mrs. Stone has been an active member 
and leading spirit in every worth while Jewish institution. Her 
sympathies are boundless, her interests are limitless; she is truly 

feminine, and intensely Jewish. 

# # # # # 

I chanced to be present when several active Jewish club-women 
were discussing the merits of some of their co-workers in club work 
when I heard one say: "The ascendency of Jennie Purvin to leader- 
ship in club work is truly remarkable; most of us had to work 
our way from the ranks up to the place of leadership and it was 
no easy task, but Jennie Purvin, like the Roman general, came, saw 
and conquered. She became a leader overnight." Mrs. Moses L. 
Purvin was born in Chicago, August 23, 1873. She was educated 
in the public schools of this city and attended the University of 
Chicago until at the age of eighteen she was forced by circumstances 
to discontinue her schooling. The panic of 1893 affected her father's 
cigar manufacturing business and reduced him almost to a state 

241 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of poverty, but even worse than the loss of his wealth he also 
suffered a physical collapse. Without hesitation Jennie left school to 
assume complete charge of the business. In 1899 sne married 
Moses L. Purvin whom she had known since childhood. 

After her marriage she became interested in the work of the 
Bureau of Personal Service and gave a great deal of her time to 
that organization under the direction of Minnie F. Lowe. Also at 
about this time she came under the influence of Rev. Jenkin Lloyd 
Jones, an influence which had a broadening effect on the plastic 
mind of the young woman whose home atmosphere had been 
wholly Jewish. And while her mind was ever seeking new chan- 
nels to divert its eager desire for knowledge, she widened the scope 
of her activities to embrace new fields. She became secretary of 
the Ruth Club in 1906, and in 191 1 was elected president of the 
Woman's Aid. Through the influence of a committee which she 
headed, the Board of Education placed the John M. Smythe School 
at the disposal of the community for a Social Center which even 
included a Hebrew School. 

The first impression of Mrs. Purvin may incline one to believe 
that she is all intellect and no soul — one might even suspect her 
of being a highbrow — but this impression is soon dispelled on 
a more intimate acquaintance with her. That she is intellectual is 
true; even now, at the age of fifty-seven she is still taking special 
courses at the University of Chicago. This probably accounts for 
the fact that her appearance and actions deny her age. She is 
absorbed by a twofold interest : civics and literature. She has written 
extensively for various publications in a fluent and attractive style. 
The material consists mostly of short stories and essays on various 
social problems. She is engaged now in selecting and revising this 
material for publication in book form. Her interest in civics dates 
back to a time long before women acquired the right of citizenship. 
Mrs. Purvin made an exhaustive study of that subject. She was 
instrumental in raising a fund to conduct public open air concerts. 
She is chairman of a civic committee and for two years was treas- 
urer of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs. For the past 
twenty years she has been active in recreational work and was in- 

242 






EAST AND WEST 

strumental in securing the small park system and play grounds. 

She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Woman's City 

Club, was president of the Chicago Section of the National Council 

of Jewish Women, from 1920 to 1922 and president of the Sinai 

Sisterhood from 1925 to 1927. 

Mrs. Purvin is sympathetic to the cause of Zionism and is an 

active member of Hadassah. Much of her writing is woven about 

the Jewish National movement. 

# # # # # 

I have now reached a very delicate point in this history. I have 
tried hard in these pages to efface myself as far as possible and 
my own activities in communal matters; and I endeavored to apply 
the same rule to members of my family, but in the case of my 
wife whose efficient, original and notable activities in the World 
War have been commented upon and written about by other writers 
and historians, in fairness to her and in fulfillment of my duty as 
historian I am impelled to include her in these pages. 

Mrs. Philip P. Bregstone, nee Anne Rosenberg, the daughter of 
Moses and Rachel Rosenberg, was born in Chicago and this city 
has remained her home ever since. She is very proud of her native 
city and has inherited its "I Will" spirit. Until she reared her two 
sons and two daughters to an age where they could care for them- 
selves, she abstained from all other activities except those which 
devolved upon a true and devoted mother. She then extended her 
efforts to include the sons and daughters of parents who were unable 
to provide an education for them. Full of spirit and energy she 
entered into the work of the Chicago Hebrew Institute Woman's 
Club. As Chairman of the entertainment committee she displayed 
much ingenuity, taste and originality in planning and arranging at- 
tractive and novel programs. In 1914, when the European war broke 
out and our people became the victims on every frontier, not only of 
a diabolical war, but also of the hatred directed against them as 
Jews; and the call came from across the seas begging for bread to 
feed the hungry and raiment to clothe the naked, Mrs. Bregstone 
almost forgot home and family in the enthusiasm with which she 

243 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

threw herself into the work of collecting funds for the war stricken 
and she swelled the fund by thousands of dollars. 

When in 1917, the United States entered the war and American 
youths were mobilized in camps throughout the country, the Jews 
of America organized the Soldier's and Sailor's Welfare Board 
which functioned effectively during the remaining years of the war, 
here and abroad, for the Jewish boys. Mrs. Bregstone was the 
leading spirit in planning a theatre benefit, the proceeds of which 
went to that cause and through her efforts a substantial sum was 
raised. Among the Jewish women in this state she was a pioneer 
worker for the allied cause. She was active in all of the Liberty 
Loan drives and here her activities proved of inestimable value. 
At the head of a competent committee she sold hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars worth of Liberty Bonds. In an account given in 
the History of the Jews of Illinois, Mr. H. L. Meites writes: 

"As an outstanding example (of the work of Jewish women in 
the war) is Mrs. Philip P. Bregstone. She seems to have been as- 
sociated in an executive capacity with almost every patriotic work 
in which women could serve. Her name is connected with a be- 
wildering number of drives and tag days in all of which her 
particular care was the City Hall, County Building and the Federal 
Building. Among her activities were the Liberty Loans, Salvation 
Army drives, Paris Soldier's Hospital drive, Blind Soldier's Tag 
Day, French Wounded Soldier's drive, Patriotic Food Show, Sol- 
dier's and Sailor's Welcome Home and the United War Work. 
Mrs. Bregstone is recognized as the originator of the entertainment 
feature in war drives, which subsequently spread all over the coun- 
try and became an integral part of the war campaigns. Thus, be- 
sides serving prominently in the various drives and as a member 
of the women's committee of the Council of National Defense, 
Mrs. Bregstone brought an original and productive contribution 
to the nation's cause." 

Other drives of great importance in which she was one of the 
moving spirits, were the Illinois Hospital in France, Relief for the 
Belgium Babies and the Fatherless Children of France. That her 
services to the cause of patriotism were of tremendous value is evi- 

244 



AN AMERICAN HERZL 

denced by the recognition she received even in Washington, D. C. 
In a letter written by William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, under President Woodrow Wilson, among other things he 
says: "I have always regretted that there was no permanent way 
provided for giving deserved recognition to those who took part 
in this most essential form of the war activity. You have every 
reason to be proud of this work and I take the greatest pleasure in 
giving this slight recognition to you . . ." This letter was signed 
by him in person. 

XIII 

AN AMERICAN HERZL 

In the latter part of June, 191 1, the Zionist Organization of America 
met in annual convention, in the city of Cincinnati. It had been 
an extremely hot day filled with much arduous discussion; yet two 
hours past midnight, I was still sitting in the lobby of the Sinton 
Hotel listening to the interesting stories, anecdotes and brilliant 
conversation of Jacob de Haas. In my experience with literary men 
I have never met one to equal him in the manner of narrating 
stories mostly of his own experiences, a performance which he fills 
with vividness, zest and gusto. In the midst of our conversation 
he suddenly turned to me in serious and confidential mien and said : 
"You know, fate destined me to be a potent factor in bringing 
Dr. Herzl before the Jews of the world; and now I believe that 
I am destined to bring a new American Herzl to the Jewish peo- 
ple." "And who might he be, this American Herzl?" I queried, 
betraying a deeper interest than is usually my habit when presented 
by de Haas with one of his startlingly fanciful statements, for I 
know him to be highly romantic and imaginative and therefore I 
am sometimes skeptical of his enthusiasm. (It is this very trait that 
enhances his charm as a writer and a public speaker, for his vivid 
imagination lends a tinge of color to his words and gives them a 
whimsical beauty). With all sincerity he answered that this new 
American Herzl was no other than Louis D. Brandeis. I had heard 
a great deal of Mr. Brandeis, especially his profound interest in 

245 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

liberal legislation in favor of the oppressed working classes. I was 
familiar with the part he played in the Illinois Eight Hour Labor 
Law for Women and Children; but this was the first time I heard 
that he was interested in Jewish problems. De Haas related how, 
as a newspaper man in Boston he chanced to meet Mr. Brandeis, 
their many conversations that followed, the deep interest the latter 
manifested in Jewish problems and lastly his susceptibility to the 
idea of Zionism. I confess now that I have done an injustice to 
Jacob de Haas in suspecting that he was carried away by his great 
enthusiasm. Some years later, after Louis D. Brandeis was appoint- 
ed Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he told a few 
of us in a conversation around a table in the Blue Fountain Room 
at the Hotel La Salle, in Chicago, the complete story of his meet- 
ing with de Haas and how step by step he was led to a conviction 
of the ideals of Zionism, and his story fully coincided with the 
one de Haas had told me several years before, at the Sinton Hotel. 

It was not however, until the early autumn of 1914, that Justice 
Brandeis came to the world's Jewry as a full-fledged Zionist. Tur- 
key had entered the great war and joined forces with the Central 
Powers. Palestine became isolated from the rest of the civilized 
world. Russia, Germany, Austria, Roumania, France, and Italy — 
all the countries where Jews lived in larger and smaller numbers — 
were plunged into the throes of a desperate struggle. Those who 
had hitherto contributed liberally to the rebuilding of Palestine 
were suddenly rendered helpless and unable to care for the home- 
land. American Jews quickly realized that the full responsibility 
rested on them. 

It is beyond human power to describe adequately the commo- 
tion among the Jews on the West side when they learned that 
war between the allies and the central powers of Europe was no 
longer a speculation. Emotions were high and conflicting not only 
between one group and another but often in individual souls. There 
was hatred for Russia, indifference for Germany, gratitude to Great 
Britain, kindly feelings towards France and Italy, and detestation 
and fear for Roumania. All these elements, though heretofore dor- 
mant in the Jewish soul were now given vent, and it became in- 

246 






AN AMERICAN HERZL 

creasingly difficult for them to decide where to lend their sympa- 
thies. To their credit be it said that if most of the Russian Jews 
were in sympathy with Germany at the outset of the war, it was 
not because of their love for Germany but because of their hatred 
for Russia and Roumania, where so much Jewish blood had been 
spilled. 

No sooner did the news arrive that Russia was mobilizing its 
forces and Germany was doing likewise than American Jews began 
to think of their own kindred. Most men and women who came 
from Russia became absorbed with concern for their own rela- 
tives, but it was the Zionists as a body who thought of the "K'lal 
Isroel" and while their efforts were directed towards all the Jews 
of the war-stricken area it was natural that those of Palestine were 
uppermost in their minds. A group of Zionists, organized under 
the name of "Bread for Palestine," made an appeal to their brethren 
in the various synagogues, on the Day of Atonement for help. 
This appeal in the Orthodox Synagogues of Chicago yielded the 
sum of fifteen thousand dollars, and this less than two months 
after the war began! Similar drives were made in other cities 
but there arose the problem of how to transmit the money to 
Palestine. Congressman A. J. Sabath made a strenuous effort to 
secure the service of the State Department in this behalf, but he 
failed in his attempt. The Standard Oil Company, which was in 
possession of vast interests in the East and Near East, came at last 
to the rescue. Through the efforts of Congressman Sabath it under- 
took to transmit all moneys to Palestine without expense to the 
senders. 

The difficulties first encountered in attempting to transmit the 
funds to Palestine repeated themselves when it reached its destina- 
tion. The problem was how to convert the checks or certificates 
back into money. This forced the leaders of the Chicago Zionists 
to try another plan, which again was followed by Jews from other 
cities. Instead of sending money with which to purchase food 
and other commodities they decided to send the articles them- 
selves. The following weeks presented daily scenes that will re- 
main forever in the minds of those who were privileged to witness 

247 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

them. Every Orthodox Synagogue in this city was converted into 
a warehouse, a sewing shop and what not. From early morning 
until late in the evening streams of men and women could be 
seen carrying all sorts of food and other necessities to these receiv- 
ing stations where leading men of the community gave their time 
and labor receiving and supervising the offerings. The organizers 
of the committee who conducted this campaign were Max Shulman, 
its Chairman, Rabbi A. Cardon, Jacob H. Cohen, Rabbi Ephraim 
Epstein, Rabbi Ezriel Epstein, Rabbi Saul Silber, William Farber, 
M. Ph. Ginzburg, Bernard Horwich, Harris Horwich, H. Levin, 
Samuel Philipson, Samuel Ginzburg, A. Antonow, A. S. Roe and 
H. L. Meites, its secretary. H. Levin, of Levin Brothers, a firm en- 
gaged in the paper business, allowed the committee the use of 
a large spacious warehouse to be utilized as the central station where 
the stock was packed and made ready for shipment. The com- 
mittee was touched and gratified to find that among the merchants 
who contributed to the cause were many non-Jews who came for- 
ward with large donations, in many instances, unsolicited. Judge 
Hugo Pam succeeded in obtaining from the Nickel Plate Rail- 
road an offer to place gratis at the command of the committee as 
many freight cars as would be needed to carry the articles to New 
York. Of still greater interest to the readers of a generation hence, 
will no doubt be the fact that the Vulcan, a United States Navy 
vessel was placed at the disposal of the Jewish committee by Mr. 
Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, as the Government's con- 
tribution. The relief cargo was placed in the hold of the ship and 
the Vulcan sailed across the Seas to Palestine. 

Immediately after the declaration of hostilities, a conference of 
all the leading Zionists in the United States was called in New 
York, The gathering was imposing, the best men and women in 
the movement came to participate and help to work out plans to 
prevent the loss of what had been acquired in Palestine. All 
came with one thought, in every mind was registered the same 
question: "Who will be our leader?" Who is equal to the task 
of coping with the situation? It was at that conference that Louis 
D. Brandeis emerged as the American Herzl. The "Zionist Pro- 

248 






AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS 

visional Committee" was organized, with Brandeis at its head and 
a new life began. 

Max Shulman, Nathan D. Kaplan and Judge Hugo Pam were 
among those who represented the Chicago Zionists at that historic 
conference. They returned filled with new inspiration, new zeal 
and new enthusiasm. The leadership of Brandeis gave a new im- 
petus to the movement; the former contributions of pennies were 
changed into dollars and dollars into hundreds. 

The latter part of November, 1914, Louis D. Brandeis came to 
Chicago in the interest of Zionism, but particularly to plead the 
cause of the starving Jewish inhabitants of Palestine. Dr. Hirsch 
invited him to occupy the pulpit of Sinai Temple during the fol- 
lowing Sunday morning services. The result of Brandeis' talk 
which was supplemented by a warm appeal of Di. Hirsch was that 
Julius Rosenwald subscribed a thousand dollars monthly, during 
the entire duration of the war and for one year after the war, and 
many other members of Sinai Temple pledged themselves likewise 
in smaller sums. 

XIV 

AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS 

In 1915 the World War was raging at its height and it seemed 
as if humanity were determined to annihilate itself. Christian civili- 
zation as if forgetful of the high ideals of human love it had 
preached for nineteen hundred years, now preached the doctrine 
of hatred. And the Jews too demonstrated their patriotism by 
bringing sacrificial offerings to the God of War on every frontier. 
In Chicago, only two ministers of the Gospel showed the courage 
of their conviction, blending their powerful voices with that of 
the famous Belgian writer, Romain Rolland, in a protest against 
war. They were Dr. Emil G. Hirsch and the Rev. Jenkin Lloyd 
Jones. But the hysterical voice of the unthinking mob drowned out 
their desperate appeals to reason. 

While almost all of humanity was intoxicated with the scent of 
human blood, there were still those few who dreamed of peace and 

249 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

among these dreamers was Louis D. Brandeis. He realized the 
extent of the sacrifice which the Jews of the world were laying 
on the altar of war. Possessed of vision he well knew that the orgy 
could not last forever, that sooner or later an international con- 
vention of peace would be called where every nation would make 
demands and claim its right. He reflected on the position of the 
Jews: who would represent them? Who would speak in their 
behalf? He realized that if any were to demand Jewish rights and 
speak in behalf of the Jews of the world it would have to be the 
Jews of America. But how were these to express themselves, di- 
vided as they were into innumerable conflicting groups having no 
contact one with the other: there were the American Jewish Com- 
mittee, the Jewish Fraternal organizations and the Zionists, each 
in itself subdivided into factions and fractions. Justice Brandeis 
conceived the idea of calling into being an American Jewish Con- 
gress. There would be an election which would give every Jew 
an opportunity to cast his ballot and vote for men of his own 
race and of his own liking to represent him. Incidentally the Jews 
of the United States would thereby present themselves to the world 
as an organized body democratic in character. 

In his wisdom, Justice Brandeis reached the conclusion that he 
must not show his own hand in this movement. He must leave 
it to others who were not avowed Zionists and yet not hostile to 
the cause of a Jewish homeland. With this thought in mind he 
instructed the Chicago Zionist leaders to find the proper man who 
could be trusted to head the Chicago and midwestern district. After 
due consideration the leaders decided to draft Jacob G. Grossberg 
for the work of organizing the Jews of Chicago and the mid- 
western States in preparation for the American Jewish Congress. 
Mr. Grossberg consented to act but soon found the task much 
harder than he anticipated. He turned all of his energy to the 
cause and called on every one of his friends to assist him in the 
great enterprise. His wife abandoned all of her other activities 
and dedicated herself to the work of the Congress. Morris K. 
Levinson was the first secretary of the newly founded organization 
but when the work became too cumbersome and demanded too 

250 



AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS 

much of his time he resigned and Leo H. Hoffman became his 
successor. 

The amount of labor assumed by Grossberg with his office be- 
came so enormous and bewildering that all who were familiar 
with the true conditions were amazed at his persistence. But Jacob 
G. Grossberg continued until the nucleus of an organization was 
finally formed. When Adolf Kraus in his official capacity as head 
of the B'nai B'rith was won over to the cause, it was the signal 
for all the other organizations to join. The greatest difficulties 
which Grossberg encountered were factional strife and the eternal 
quest for personal honors. The Zionist group as such was indif- 
ferent as to the distribution of honors (not that individual members 
were entirely disinterested). Its main object was to bring about 
the organization of all American Jews but at the same time to 
see that the result was tinged with a Zionist hue. 

Grossberg finally succeeded in arranging a pre-Congress con- 
vention of Chicago and Midwestern delegates. This was held at 
the Hotel Sherman, Sunday, January 23, 1916. In the history of 
Chicago Jewry there are few instances of a spiritual rejoicing to 
compare with this particular event. There was a feeling among 
all race-conscious Jews that something of great importance was 
taking place in the historic life of the Jewish people. This con- 
vention in Chicago was the first of its kind in the United States, 
but was soon followed by similar affairs in all other large com- 
munities. 

Those who remember the events that preceded the Congress 
of Philadelphia, and particularly all those who were interested in 
the progress of the Congress at that time, have felt that a great 
wrong was committed against Mr. Grossberg in not permitting 
him to go to the Philadelphia gathering as chairman of the Chicago 
and Midwestern delegation, and by electing Adolf Kraus in his 
place. The Zionists, as the body most active in the affairs of the Con- 
gress is responsible for this evidence of ingratitude. As one who 
actively participated in all the political maneuvering within the 
Zionist group, I am in no position to deny the charge, but can 
only offer the justification that where so great a principle was 

251 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

involved individuals were counted for nought. As already indicated 
the Nationalists were eager to give to the congress a Zionist com- 
plexion. The Chicago Zionists could not afford to send a delega- 
tion to Philadelphia under the leadership of an anti-Zionist chair- 
man. It was said that on repeated occasions Mr. Grossberg had 
given expression to anti-Zionistic utterances (which has since then 
been strenuously denied by Mr. Grossberg) and so there was 
nothing else to do for those who held Zionism dear to their hearts, 
but to eliminate him. Adolf Kraus, on the other hand, while not 
a confessed Zionist was known to be not altogether unfriendly to 
the cause. Placing him against Grossberg in the race for chairman 
meant the united support of the fraternal organizations and this 
together with the combined support of the different shades of 
Zionists assured his election. Colonel Edwin Romberg was elected 
treasurer and I was named chairman of the election board. The 
election of members to the congress, with its bright and dark sides 
would make interesting reading but has to be left for another time 
and another place. 

XV 

NEW TEACHERS IN ISRAEL 

In the spring of 1923, news became current that the congregation 
of Sinai Temple had chosen a successor to the lamented Dr. Hirsch 
and the new Rabbi was scheduled to preach his inaugural sermon 
on the eve of Rosh Hashonah. The news aroused a wave of interest 
not only in Jewish circles but among the Gentiles as well. In the 
forty-two years during which Dr. Hirsch occupied Sinai's pulpit 
the temple had achieved an importance which manifested itself 
in the hetrogeneity of its attendance. For Dr. Emil G. Hirsch in 
these many years had fulfilled by the strength of his personality 
and the greatness of his wisdom the words of the prophet which 
are inscribed above the portals of Sinai Temple: "My house shall 
be called a house of worship for all the nations." People of many 
religions and creeds had passed through its doors to hear the dis- 

252 



NEW TEACHERS IN ISRAEL 

course of the Rabbi whose fame had spread forth over two con- 
tinents. 

No wonder then, that the entire thinking world as well as the 
Jews of Chicago were keenly interested in the selection of Dr. Louis 
L. Mann, then Rabbi in New Haven, Connecticut, to fill the void 
left by Dr. Hirsch's demise. Some even expressed anxiety on the 
newcomer's behalf for the utter impossibility of the task he had 
undertaken. 

And Rabbi Mann, on assuming his duties at Sinai was not un- 
mindful of his great responsibility, or of the high standard set 
by the congregation to which he was now to minister. Thus he 
said in his inaugural sermon, on Rosh Hashonah eve: "When the 
call came to me to carry on the work of Emil G. Hirsch, master- 
mind and genius, great and untiring worker in the vineyard of 
the Lord, champion of social justice and prophet of righteousness, 
I was overawed and I humbly repeated the words of Jeremiah the 
prophet: 'Oh Lord, God! behold I cannot speak, for I am still a 
child.' And like Jeremiah also, I heard the divine within me 
answer: 'Say not I am a child, for thou shalt go to all that I 
shall send thee and whatsoever I shall command thee thou shalt 
speak; be not afraid, for I am with thee to deliver thee.' " 

On the eve of Rosh Hashonah 1923, Sinai Temple was crowded 
to capacity. Many had come to worship on the first evening of 
the high holidays, but many of the great throng went thither out 
of curiosity to see and hear the new Rabbi. Since that day great 
throngs have come to Sinai Temple week after week. 

Where for many years I had beheld the gray hair and weathered 
face of Dr. Hirsch, I now saw a tall, erect young physique unfold 
itself and walk to the lectern. When the man began to speak, I 
noticed that his voice too, was different from that of his predecessor. 
This was a voice ringing with the enthusiasm of youth, still hope- 
ful — still confident of realizing its ideals. But the substance of his 
sermon was strangely similar to that of him who for forty-two 
years had thundered forth demands for social justice as against 
inequity. Rabbi Mann said : "This Temple will be intensely Jewish, 
broadly universal, deeply spiritual and especially modern. The 

253 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

principles of our religion which stood the test of time and have 
been sanctioned by experience will always, in every sermon, be ap- 
plied to modern conditions and pressing problems . . ." These were 
familiar words to the ears of those who on many previous occasions 
had come to these precincts. He continued: "When children, 
some three thousand years after Moloch-worship are still sacrificed, 
physically dwarfed, mentally blighted, morally exposed and spirit- 
ually handicapped, as are one million five hundred thousand an- 
nually in America today, in the twentieth century because of child 
labor, then the Synagogue, this Synagogue, will not, ay, dare not 
remain silent . . . Whenever and wherever a moral issue is involved, 
whether it be in politics, in the home, in the state, in country, in 
immigration, in business, in industry, in religion or social conditions 
in general, the Rabbi and the layman, the pulpit and the pew must 
not only speak,, but act, and without regard as to whom it helps 
or hurts . . ." 

A beautiful program for a modern Rabbi in Israel! Eight years 
have passed and it has been truly said: "No pulpit in America 
is more successful than Sinai in making religion part and parcel of 
life. Nothing human is foreign to the teachings of Sinai. All hu- 
man problems are ultimately religious and are discussed with 
scholarship and courage." 

It is quite evident that Dr. Mann has been following and carry- 
ing out honestly and faithfully the principles which he set up in 
his original program. No public speaker in this city has attacked 
more forcefully and vehemently the corruption in municipal politics 
than did Dr. Mann. When he was threatened that his home would 
be bombed if he did not desist, his reply was: "It is not when you 
die but how you die!" With the weapons of sound scholarship, 
deep earnestness, a strong and pleasing personality Dr. Mann has 
with utter fearlessness held aloft the traditions of Sinai and made 
a distinct place for himself. It is said: "With his coming, a new 
enthusiasm for Judaism was awakened in Chicago." 

Dr. Louis L. Mann was born in Louisville, Ky., January 25, 1890, 
the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Mann. He attended school in his 
native city, until he entered Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, 

254 



NEW TEACHERS IN ISRAEL 

Md. Later he attended the University of Cincinnati, the Hebrew 
Union College and Yale where he received his Doctor's degree. 
He holds five degrees from prominent American Universities. For 
several years Dr. Mann lectured on Comparative Ethics at Yale 
and is now professor of Oriental Languages at the University of 
Chicago. He is identified with many progressive, philosophic and 
social science organizations and educational institutions. 

Dr. Mann is vice-Chancellor of the Jewish Chautauqua of Amer- 
ica and for years has served as Chairman of the religious education 
committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and as 
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union Col- 
lege. He has been actively interested in the Religious Education 
Association of America, and is now Chairman of the Advisory 
Committee which directs the policies of that organization. He is 
National Director of the Hillel Foundation, <an organization which 
he was largely instrumental in founding. 

Dr. Mann's sociological interests have been manifested in his 
activity for a National Child Labor Law, in his service on the 
American Committee for the Outlawry of War, the Eugenics Com- 
mission of the United States, and the American Birth Control 
League. President Hoover appointed him a member of the White 
House Conference on Child Welfare, and Governor Emmerson 
appointed him a member of the State Commission on Unemploy- 
ment. He is vice-president of the Big Brother and Big Sister move- 
ment of the United States. 

When Rabbi Mann came to Sinai, its membership numbered 
800 and the religious school was attended by about 350 children. 
The membership has since increased to 1250 and the number of 
pupils in the school grew to 800. Having been connected with 
scholastic institutions for more than twenty years he has made 
the religious school of Sinai Temple a model for other religious 
schools. The Sinai school has primary, secondary, high school and 
normal school departments. It has on its faculty, in addition to 
a trained psychologist, an outstanding psychiatrist. It was the first 
religious school in the country where "problem" children were 
dealt with scientifically. 

255 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Dr. Mann is an enthusiastic, forceful and scholarly preacher and 
deals with the vital problems of life with frankness and unmis- 
takable directness in harmony with the traditions of Sinai. As a 
lecturer and public speaker, he has been in demand by Open 
Forums in all parts of the country. Liberal in all matters and even 
radical in some, he attracts people of all faiths to his Temple. 

Dr. Mann recently received a diploma informing him that the 
French Government, through the President of the Cabinet, and the 
Minister of Education, Mario Roustan, had decorated him with 
the title of "Officer of the Academy" in recognition of scholarly 
attainments and civic and religious leadership. The honor is the 
highest conferred by the French Government upon a non-French- 
man, and is given but rarely. 

Kehilath Anshe Maarabh, whose Temple stands on Drexel Boule- 
vard at Fiftieth street, was the first Jewish Congregation in Chicago. 
Its organization dates back to 1847. Strictly and technically speak- 
ing the history of Jewish Chicago begins with the history of that 
congregation. Indeed Dr. Bernard Felsenthal whose prophetic 
mind foresaw even a decade or so later that someday those events, 
insignificant as they might have seemed to the participants, would 
be of great value and importance to the historian of the future, 
compiled a record of them as they transpired and filed it with the 
Historical Society. But alas! the great fire of 1871 was no kinder 
to that document than to the many others that were reduced to 
ashes. An account of the events of the period, dealing with the 
founding of the first Jewish community was again pieced together 
and another historic document was deposited, this time, in the 
vault of the City Clerk's office, but the second Chicago fire of 1874, 
with equal voracity consumed this record. It was not until 1897 
that Dr. Felsenthal and Dr. Herman Elliasof collaborated and pro- 
duced a third history of that period which was, perhaps not as 
accurate as the two earlier ones, for many of the original sources 
were no longer in existence. We are, nevertheless, grateful for 
whatever data they gathered and preserved for us. As I scan the 
pages of the History of the Kehilath Anshe Maarabh and read of 
its struggles, hardships, conflicts of ideas and "machlokes l'shem 

256 



NEW TEACHERS IN ISRAEL 

shomayim," my eyes fall on the picture of Abraham Kohn. His 
high forehead, strong face encircled by a heavy beard, reveal a de- 
termination and a character which will never compromise a 
principle and still less surrender it. His deeply set eyes look out 
with gentleness and profound love for his fellow being. For many 
years as a member of the executive committee and president of the 
Kehilath Anshe Maarabh he fought the battle of conservative 
Judaism against modern Reform. Many have been these battles in 
the past in the life of the Jew. Jewish literature is filled with stories 
of the struggles between the young and the old, between modernism 
and conservatism, between the outgoing and incoming generations; 
but the stand Abraham Kohn took is fraught with a more epic 
sincerity. In the hands of an artist like Mrs. Humphry Ward he 
would emerge a stronger character even than "Robert Elsmere." 
Not less attractive is the other side, the gentler side of his character : 
his detestation of human slavery. I am of the opinion, however, 
that these two qualities, seemingly opposed to each other, are 
complementary parts of each other: Abraham Kohn loves liberty 
and condemns slavery just because he is a true son of his people. 
No document written by man has condemned slavery in stronger 
terms than does the Old Testament. That is probably why it has 
been said that "Liberty has always spoken with a Jewish accent." 

In i860 Abraham Kohn was elected City Clerk. His admiration 
for the emancipator of the black race, Abraham Lincoln, was next 
to his love and admiration for the one who emancipated his people 
from the bondage of Egypt, Moses, whose name he was taught to 
love and worship from earliest childhood. In February, 1861, just 
a few days before the president-elect left his home in Springfield 
for Washington, for the inauguration, Abraham Kohn sent him a 
satin flag of the stars and stripes, in the folds of which were written 
in Kohn's own handwriting, the original text of the verses four 
to nine inclusive of the first chapter of Joshua. Many prominent 
men and women who left their footprints on the communal life 
of Jewish Chicago were closely associated with Anshe Maarabh. 
Step by step it moved until it finally embraced Reform Judaism. 
In 1901 Rabbi Schanfarber entered its pulpit and occupied that place 

257 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

for over twenty-three years. In 1924 he retired to become Rabbi 
Emeritus and Dr. Solomon B. Freehof took his place as Rabbi. 
Like Dr. Louis L. Mann, Dr. Freehof was little known before he 
came to Chicago. Although he had been ordained Rabbi nine 
years before, he graced no pulpit until he came to K. A. M. 

Solomon B. Freehof was born in London, England, August 8, 
1892, the son of Isaac and Golda (Blonstein) Freehof. He was 
brought by his parents to America when he was twelve years of 
age. He attended a Talmud Torah and later studied at the Hebrew 
Union College of Cincinnati. At the age of twenty-two he was 
ordained as Rabbi and for nine years he served as professor of 
Medieval Liturgy in his Alma Mater while doing graduate work 
for his Doctor's degree. It is because of no inferiority complex that 
Dr. Freehof rarely speaks of himself. He discusses freely ideas and 
theories, philosophy and social science, ethics and esthetics, in fact 
all higher things in life, to which he applies a language all his 
own, a language rich and beautiful — but it is almost impossible to 
extract from him anything about himself. 

Dr. Freehof took Chicago by storm; the large auditorium of the 
newly erected K. A. M. Temple proved inadequate in size to ac- 
commodate the crowds that come to hear his sermons on Sunday 
mornings. His vast knowledge of Jewish history, his profound 
erudition, his exquisite form of weaving his sentences and his 
musical voice make him an outstanding orator. Outside of his 
pulpit he is extremely simple in manner. It is consistent with this 
characteristic simplicity that as the spiritual leader of an old and 
great congregation, he seeks not to put forth his ego first and his 
Temple next, but rather to glorify the Kehilath Anshe Maarabh as 
a great religious institution, and submerge his own personality. Dr. 
Freehof is advanced in his views and he knows modernism so well 
that his summary of it I quote is almost perfect: "What is the pre- 
valent mood of the present day ? What is the modern spirit ? The 
most noticeable characteristic of the modern age is the love for 
novelty. People pick up one fad after another with utter fickle- 
ness. They go from one domicile to another with startling rest- 
lessness. This insatiable love for novelty together with the cease- 

258 



NEW TEACHERS IN ISRAEL 

less hunt for pleasure, may be summed up in the one word, 'rest- 
lessness.' Restless like a leaf blown from the branch, the toy of 
every vagrant gust of wind, is the spirit of the average modern man. 
Being restless he is the victim of any chance fad. Whatever is 
latest appeals to him. He finds it difficult to concentrate his mind 
upon one definite theme. He wants something new every moment. 
The latest always appeals to him because his heart is restless; it 
lacks repose." 

And here is another paragraph which is as beautiful as it is true 
and as true as it is beautiful. It expresses the conviction that has 
made his temple a haven of refuge for weary souls sick unto death 
of a plethora of modernity. 

"In every age, but especially today, religion should speak in a 
quiet sanctuary with the still small voice of peace. The church 
ought to be the one spot where headlines never shriek, where 
sensation never shout, where the troubled spirit can come out of 
the noisy world and find at least an hour of calm and feel the near- 
ness of the infinite. We may be sensation loving, we may gulp 
down the spiced pabulum of the papers every day in the week, but 
we are entitled to demand of our religion one hour of spiritual 
repose. Any religion which feeds modern restlessness with sensa- 
tionalism which it constantly craves is treacherous to its own unique 
function. In this age more than in any other, religion must strive 

to attain a dignity of calm and the peace of soul." 

* * • • * 

Before me lies a pamphlet, consisting of seventeen pages. I turn 
to the first paragraph and read as follows: "With but rare excep- 
tions, Jewish intellectuals the world over, have turned their backs 
on the omnipotent and omniscient, dogmatic God. With them 
the traditional, enthroned deity, at whose altar the masses usually 
offer lip service and occasionally the outcry of trepidation and de- 
spair, does not pass for current coin. It is not, however, to be as- 
sumed that the upper stratum of Jewry is atheistic, agnostic, or even 
humanistic. Nothing could be further from the truth or at least 
from verification. It is simply maintained that there is no IDEE 
FIXE or final and universal conception of the divine among cul- 

259 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

tured men. Every cultured Jew or non-Jew builds Him, if at all, 
in his own image." 

The title of the brochure containing the above paragraph is "God 
and Israel" and the article, written by Dr. Solomon Goldman, Rabbi 
of Anshe Emeth congregation, is a reprint from the New Palestine. 
It is a sweeping as well as a daring statement for a Rabbi to make. 
It is not my purpose to place a valuation on the relative merits of 
the three Rabbis, who came to Chicago within the past seven years. I 
leave it to my readers to compare their difference of aspect on life 
in general and on Jewish life in particular; their religious con- 
victions and their attitude toward Jewish thought and Jewish 
philosophy. We need not quote the entire pamphlet of Rabbi 
Goldman to fathom his viewpoint; his first two paragraphs ex- 
plain his attitude to God; in his last two, his entire philosophy 
"What is the Basis of Unity in Jewry?" (The sub-title of the 
brochure) becomes simple and understandable: 

"God, then, is absorbed in the nationalism, or more correctly, in 
the nationality of Israel. He becomes the national ETHOS. He 
serves as the symbol for Israel's noblest aspiration and loftiest ideals. 
He is never for too long abstracted from his people — its social in- 
stincts, customs, laws, descent, land and language. He goes into 
exile when the Jews are driven out of Palestine; He creates the 
world in the Hebrew language. He is the National God; He is 
the soul of the nation." 

The foundation on which the religion of Rabbi Solomon Gold- 
man rests is Nationalism, as interpreted by the prophets and later 
by Ahad Ha'am and Dr. Theodor Herzl. According to his reason- 
ing, a failure of Jewish Nationalism spells disaster to the whole 
of Judaism. Nationalism, he maintains, cannot be substituted by 
either Divine Revelation or the so called Prophetic Judaism. Jewish 
religion, the Jewish conception of God must stand or fall with 
Jewish Nationalism. Whether or not this philosophy is consistent 
with Conservative Judaism, is for Rabbi Goldman to answer which 
he probably does by refusing to label himself as either an Orthodox, 
Reform or Conservative Rabbi. 

Schopenhauer, in an essay on "Authorship and Style" says: "It 

260 



THE BIRTH OF A SPIRITUAL CHILD 

may be said that there are three kinds of authors. In the first place 
there are those who write without thinking. They write from 
memory. ... In the second those who think whilst they are writing. 
... In the third place, there are those who have thought before they 
begin to write. They write solely because they have thought; and 
they are rare." Rabbi Goldman belongs in the third category of 
Schopenhauer's classification. He demonstrates that he has thought. 
He possesses ideas so teeming with life that they almost burst into 
expression. He is a master of the art of writing, setting forth his 
ideas with a lucidity and clarity that does not obscure their vigor 
or importance. 

Solomon Goldman was born in Kuzin, a town near Dubnow 
in the Ukrain. He was brought by his parents to the United States 
when he was three years old. The family settled in the city of 
New York where he attended elementary school, high school and 
the University of New York; he took his graduate work at Colum- 
bia University. His Hebrew education he received at the Yeshibah 
Reb Isaac Elhonon where he studied six years. He graduated from 
the Theological Seminary of New York in 1918. While still a 
student at the Seminary he preached from the pulpit of B'nai 
Israel congregation, of Brooklyn and built a synagogue in the 
Bay Ridge section. For ten years he was the head of the Cleveland 
Jewish Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1929 he was invited to fill 
the pulpit of Anshe Emeth Temple in Chicago. He too preached 
his first sermon in this city on the first day of Rosh Hashonah, 
and on that day became one of Chicago's great Rabbis. 

XVI 

THE BIRTH OF A SPIRITUAL CHILD 

In the background of almost every philanthropic institution is 
concealed a tale which is the principal motive for its creation. Its 
cornerstone is often a tomb stone that marks the resting place of 
some unfulfilled desire. Behind the organization of a great Amer- 
ican university there is the story of a defeated parenthood. Leland 
Stanford, a splendid type of young manhood, was the only child 

261 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of extremely wealthy parents. While a student in one of the lead- 
ing colleges, he was suddenly seized by a serious illness. His par- 
ents were immediately notified and hastened to his bedside, but 
before their arrival he was dead. The terrible sorrow of the poor- 
rich father and mother can be understood; they were inconsolable. 
At the funeral the mother collapsed on the new grave. Her hus- 
band raised her gently in his arms and whispered to her: "Be 
brave, have courage my dear! We have lost one son but we shall 
have thousands of sons and daughters in his place and his name 
will live forever. I will build a university in his name where many 
young men and women will come to study the arts and sciences, 
just as he was doing." Thus the Leland Stanford University was 
built in California and on its campus is interred the body of the 
youth whose name this renowned institution of learning bears. 

A happier tale I will narrate, a less dramatic story of paternal 
love whose unselfish motives inspired the building of the Beth 
H'midrash Torah (Hebrew Theological College) which has graced 
the Lawndale district for the past nine years. It was the urge of 
a pious father whose devout wish was that his son follow in his 
footsteps and become his successor, a Rabbi in Israel. In Rabbi 
H. Rubinstein's home was the beginning of the college and Torah, 
his son was its first pupil. He set certain hours apart each day 
to tutor the boy in those particular subjects required to qualify him 
for the Rabbinate. In the old world it was customary in the Yeshi- 
voth for young men to study together in pairs. The advantages 
of this method are obvious: two persons could reason out the intri- 
cate propositions ever to be encountered in the study of the Talmud 
more quickly than one and the subject thus shared was more 
clearly elucidated and left a more lasting impression on the mind. 
Because of this old custom Rabbi Rubinstein sought and found 
a comrade for his son — another youth with a similar ambition to 
study for the Rabbinate. A little later when a third young man 
applied for the privilege of joining the other two in their studies 
Rabbi Rubinstein knew that such a request must not be denied 
and so the "College" composed of one teacher and three students 
modestly began. Rabbi Rubinstein soon found that his three stud- 

262 






THE BIRTH OF A SPIRITUAL CHILD 

ents had progressed to a point where new studies had to be added 
to the curriculum, studies which he felt himself incapable of direct- 
ing. He called in Rabbi Ephraim Epstein whom he regarded an 
authority on these particular subjects. In the course of time the 
"faculty" of this College in embryo was still further augmented 
by Rabbi A. I. Cardon and Rabbi Eliezer Ruven Muskin who 
voluntarily attached themselves to its staff. 

The reputation of a College generally rests upon the erudition 
and scholarship of the members of its faculty. Accordingly we 
are led to the conclusion that this College-in-the-making must have 
shown promise of becoming a great institution of learning. Un- 
fortunately, however, its system, or rather lack of such, its lack 
of scientific pedagogy and the linguistic vehicle in which its studies 
were conveyed clearly revealed it to be no different from the Yeshi- 
voth of three and four decades ago, in the cities of Volozhin and 
Slobotka. If this College were to produce anything it would be the 
old Yeshivah Bachur, minus even that worthy's knowlege of the 
Talmud. 

There were those who hoped that some day a real Yeshivah 
would be established in Chicago. They were waiting for the ap- 
pearance of a Jewish Rockefeller and a Jewish William Rainey 
Harper whose advent would ensure a real Hebrew Theological 
College. 

The World War came to an end. Besides the great havoc it 
wrought, it caused a change in the social and economic life of many 
in this country. It poured great wealth into new channels and 
created new millionaires. Many of the "newly rich" were the poor 
immigrants of yesterday. These "parvenus" as they were called by 
those whose wealth came one generation earlier, were not slow in 
showing their gratitude for their good fortune and they gave of 
their newly acquired wealth freely and in abundance. The "Rocke- 
fellers" had come! 

There were serious minded men and women in Orthodox Jewry 
who earnestly reflected on the future of Judaism in America. Theirs 
was no mere idle meditation, but a search for a means of insuring 
its continuity. They reached the conclusion that to perpetuate Juda- 

263 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ism in. this country, the American Jew must receive his religious 
tenets, his ideals and ethics, his traditions and philosophy in the 
language of the country; that the American Rabbi was not to be 
one of the "old saints" but a human being; he was not to be a 
Yeshivah Bachur, but a man of the world. To make the people 
morally good he need not threaten with the fires of Hell but 
must depict the beauties of heaven here on earth. To accomplish 
all this a modern College for Jewish Theology was needed. 

Now, that the ideal was clear and the money was there, the 
proper man was needed; one who possessed vision and foresight, 
who was earnest and sincere and who could go before the public 
and win its sympathy and support. The William Rainey Harper 
was still wanted. At last he came in the person of Saul Silber, 
Rabbi of Anshe Sholom Congregation. 

Rabbi Saul Silber was born in Alexandrovsky, Province of Kovne, 
Russia, on March 15, 1881, the son of Aaron and Minnie Deborah 
(Schur) Silber. He attended several of the leading Yeshivath in 
Russia and prepared himself for the Rabbinate under the guidance 
of the well known Rabbi I. J. Rainis of Lida. Rabbi Silber came 
to the United States at the age of nineteen and ten years later to 
Chicago to officiate as Rabbi in the congregation Anshe Sholom, 
where he has remained ever since. Added to the fact that he is 
a fluent speaker, his sermons are on a higher plane than the usual 
"Droshes" of a Rabbi, and he achieved considerable popularity in 
the pulpit. His tremendous energy carried him into other humani- 
tarian fields of endeavor but probably his greatest accomplishment 
is the Jewish Theological College. The next generation will un- 
doubtedly judge Rabbi Silber by the part he played in bringing 
that institution, the Beth H'midrash L'Torah into existence. It 
is a monument that he built for the Jews of Chicago that should 
outlive all the monuments of bronze and granite. 

Rabbi Silber became President of the College in 1922 and the 
same year a building was completed for the school at a cost of 
$200,000. The building has fourteen class rooms, a spacious study 
hall and a library containing over ten thousand volumes on a 
wide variety of Jewish subjects, in several languages. In addition 

264 



THE BIRTH OF A SPIRITUAL CHILD 

there are provisions for the physical comforts of the students such 
as shower baths and a large yard for recreational purposes. The 
Yeshivath Ez Chayim, a school for the study of the Talmud which 
had been in existence for more than thirty years, was not abol- 
ished but rejuvenated and made to function as a preparatory school 
to the College. The magnitude to which the institution grew 
in the course of so short a time is best told by figures: in 1921 
the expenses attending the upkeep of all the departments did not 
exceed the sum of $15,000. In the year 1929 they reached $115,000. 
It began with a student enrollment of thirty-five, at present it 
counts over four hundred students. The original faculty was com- 
posed of three Rabbis; the present faculty consists of seventeen 
savants, among them such eminent scholars as Rabbi Ch. Korb, 
Doctor Meyer Waxman, Rabbi H. D. Regensburg, Rabbi H. Rubin- 
stein and Rabbi Star. 

Orthodox, as it is in the strictest sense of the term, the course 
of study in the Hebrew Theological College is entirely modern. 
Every student preparing for the Rabbinate is required first to com- 
plete a full academic course in a university. The curriculum of the 
College consists of Hebrew as a living language, Talmud, Codes, 
Responsa, Bible, modern and medieval Hebrew literature, Jewish 
history, Jewish philosophy, and homiletics. Rabbi J. Greenberg 
is the dean of the school. The College does not exclusively train 
aspirants for the Rabbinate, it also has a department which prepares 
teachers for the Talmud Torah. In this department, there are at 
present forty-six girl students, all of whom converse in the Hebrew 
language as fluently as our American boys and girls converse in 
English. These girls are all American, born here or brought here 
at a very early age, and are at least Juniors in high school. 

With this kind of training — a combination of the physical and 
the mental, secular and religious, Hebrew and English, Shake- 
speare and the Old Testament, loyalty to their country and love 
for the Jewish homeland, we need have no fear for the future of 
American Judaism. The remarkable evolution of Rabbi Rubin- 
stein's rudimentary College into an all-embracing, cultural Beth 
H'midrash L'Torah was the accomplishment of one man, Rabbi 

265 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Saul Silber. Those who are familiar with the growth of this great 
institution, know all the trials and tribulations, all the opposition 
he met, and the almost insurmountable obstacles he had to over- 
come. But Rabbi Silber had on his Board of directors men who 
like himself were endowed with vision and they stood by him. 
And here too as in the days when Harris Horwich fought for a 
better Talmud Torah, the Daily Jewish Courier with M. Ph. Ginz- 
burg at its head, came to his assistance, and the victory was won 
by Rabbi Saul Silber as it was won by Harris Horwich eighteen 
years before. 

The present officers of the Jewish Theological College are: Rabbi 
Saul Silber, president; Rabbi A. I. Cardon, Gerson Guthman and 
William Lavin, vice presidents; Louis Bomash, Treasurer; Benzion 
Laser, associate treasurer; M. Perlstein, recording secretary; J. L. 
Rubin, financial secretary; Louis Broislow, Samuel Levin, and Sol. 
K. Graff, trustees; Rabbi Jacob Greenberg, dean; Rabbi Samuel S. 
Siegel, executive secretary. 

By the last report of the secretary, it is shown that 29 candidates 
for the Rabbinate have been graduated and ordained. Of this 
number 26 are officiating as Rabbis in prominent Jewish communi- 
ties in the Middle — and far West. The present student body rep- 
resents forty cities, twenty-four states and Canada; and every se- 
mester brings new seekers after Jewish knowledge and education 

XVII 

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE NEW GENERATION 

In another chapter I sketched the life of one on whom nature 
bestowed all the gifts that make life worth-while. He received 
the full measure of parental love and affection which protected 
him from the vicissitudes of poverty. His voyage on the sea of 
life was easy and untroubled. He encountered no perilous waves 
and no raging storms. I will contrast him with another type of 
the newer generation. There is but little difference in age between 
the two. The one I am to sketch was born under a different sky, 
and raised in a different environment. Colleges, Academies, Uni- 

266 



ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE NEW GENERATION 

versities, Diplomas and Degrees, were only words to him, things 
in which he had no share; even the mere comforts in life were 
unknown to him for a long time. 

My memories carry me back twenty-eight years. Early one eve- 
ning I repaired to my father's home and I found him occupied 
with three youngsters whom he was instructing in Hebrew. The 
eldest of the three could not have been more than twelve years 
old. They were the three older sons of Israel Balaban; father of 
five boys, he had to toil unceasingly to support the family and yet 
he managed by self-denial and sacrifice to give his sons a Jewish 
education. I saw the boys on many similar occasions but in the 
tide of the years, and in a crowded busy life they faded out of 
my memory. It is true that in the past ten years the name Balaban 
has become very well known in this city, but I never associated 
the "Moving Picture Lords" with the three youngsters of twenty- 
eight years ago. Last February I had occasion to call on Barney 
Balaban at his office in the Chicago Theatre. I was somewhat 
surprised to be ushered into his private office ahead of many others 
who were waiting to see him. But in the course of our conversa- 
tion he surprised me still more when he said : "I cannot expect you 
to remember me, I was too young and too small to be noticed, 
but I remember you well. I used to see you at your father's home 
when I came with my brothers to be instructed in Hebrew. All 
my knowledge of Judaism, which is little enough, I owe to my 
home influence and to your departed father, whose wisdom and pa- 
tience I loved and admired." Barney was the oldest of the three 
lads who wide-eyed and serious sat drinking in the words of my 
father. 

Barney Balaban is the head of the firm of Balaban & Katz, who 
are in control of the many large moving picture theatres in Chi- 
cago and its environs. He is an important figure in the modern 
business world, and yet he finds time to interest himself in all 
Jewish things and particularly, matters concerning Orthodox Juda- 
ism. He has studied in no university but has evolved his own 
philosophy and has worked out his own formula for living. He 
said : "There are those who say that I could have gotten on without 

267 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

religion and become, what people call, a good man; but if that 
were so, there must still have been some forces at work in my 
childhood which served to mold my character for such a life. In 
my mind that background is indistinguishable from Jewish Ortho- 
dox religion. Orthodox religion dominates every action and every 
force in me and cannot be disassociated from my character. I em- 
phasize the word Orthodox, for it is that dynamic power that made 
us what we are. I am an American in the truest sense of the term 
and as such I am free from all prejudices, religious or otherwise, 
but I insist on my Orthodox viewpoint because Orthodoxy is crea- 
tive in character, while Reform Judaism, as much as I have ob- 
served of it, is destructive. Once the door is opened it keeps on 
moving without resistance." He went on: "Here is my father, who 
worked very hard and suffered great hardships and did all in his 
power to make worthy men of us. Was it not his Orthodox Juda- 
ism that was the impelling force back of him? Since we became 
comfortably situated he is able to fulfill some of his lifelong wishes. 
We are pleased and happy in the thought that though late in life, 
he can live up to his Jewish ideals and contribute freely to all 
Jewish causes. Father is now growing old and we deem it a priv- 
ilege to help him realize the dreams and hopes closest to his heart. 
Besides, we Orthodox Jews have a duty to perform, an obligation 
to pay. In the early period of Jewish immigration most of our 
people came here poor and destitute. It was the Reform Jews who 
took care of them and provided them with all the necessities. The 
Reform Jews maintained the charities and supported all institu- 
tions. Now that many of us possess wealth it is time that we take 
up the responsibility ourselves, to build and maintain the charitable 
and philanthropic institutions and to create such others as modern 
American Jewry may require." 

Israel Balaban, the father of Barney and his brothers, is a mem- 
ber of the Board of Directors of the Beth Midrash L'Torah (Heb- 
rew Theological College) and through him the members of the 
Balaban family became interested in this institution. Soon after its' 
construction on Douglas Boulevard it was found that the space 
was inadequate; there was need for more classrooms, more study 

268 






ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE NEW GENERATION 

room and above all, there was a crying need for library space. After 
the opening of the new building an appeal was issued for books 
and in a short time books came by the thousands and of a kind 
that gave promise of establishing it as one of the finest "Library 
Hebraica." The number of volumes has already passed twelve 
thousand. Written in Hebrew and in several European languages, 
they cover every phase in the life and history of the Jewish people. 
But for lack of space these many valuable and interesting tomes, 
manuscripts and documents had to remain packed in boxes and 
be stored away. They were not even catalogued. Rabbi Silber 
began to look around for the proper man to interest in the library. 
Ten years ago he found a Rockefeller, he now sought a Carnegie. 
He discovered him in the person of Barney Balaban who without 
much persuasion became chairman of the "Library Building Com- 
mittee." Shortly before the close of the year 1929, Mr. Balaban 
tendered a dinner at his home to about thirty guests and at that 
dinner the sum of $68,000. was subscribed to a fund for the new 
library building; out of this sum $27,000. was subscribed by the 
Balaban family. Through the influence of the Balabans, this din- 
ner was followed up with another one at the home of Milton H. 
Callner, at which the sum of $100,000, was subscribed. Through 
the enthusiastic efforts of Barney Balaban a new library was built 
on St. Louis avenue, immediately adjacent to the Beth Midrash 
L'Torah. The new building contains eight additional classrooms, 
a lecture hall, a spacious reading room, two study rooms, a syna- 
gogue for the junior class, a large dining hall and kitchen, and 
most important of all, a large room containing sufficient book- 
shelves to hold thirty thousand volumes. 

Barney Balaban is one of a type fairly representative of the 
modern Orthodox Jew of America. Engaged in a life of keenest 
competition, a life where alertness and constant watchfulness are 
the great essentials, yet this man has sufficient time to reflect on 
the many complexities in Judaism. He is deeply interested in a 
Hebrew Theological College, destined to provide the future Jew- 
ish generation with Orthodox Rabbis in modern garb. Barney 
Balaban and Leo F. Wormser are two separate and distinct types 

269 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

in Jewish life. They may never meet religiously but both of them 
are the forerunners, the advance guards of the coming generation. 

XVIII 

REFORM AND CONSERVATISM 

In recent years Chicago has absorbed many new spiritual forces. 
The Jewish community spread out to all parts of the city and new 
synagogues and temples were built everywhere. Many of the old 
Rabbis died and younger men came to take their places; others, 
tired after long full lives of service relinquished their places to the 
new generation. The Americanization process which took place 
in the old immigrants of Eastern Europe through their children 
and grandchildren born in this country presented a new force 
which began to make great inroads in Jewish religious life. Loath 
to abondon the old Orthodox form of worship practiced by their 
ancestors even though it proved antiquated and no longer adequate 
to their needs in this modern time and country. On the other hand, 
they could not exchange it for Reform Judaism in which they 
saw neither piety nor devoutness. Thus a compromise between the 
old and new was the only means out of the dilemma. A compro- 
mise between extreme Orthodoxy and Reform was found in the 
Conservative School of Judaism. A considerable number of those 
who heretofore were devoted to the old faith left the Orthodox 
Synagogue to become affiliated with Conservative temples for the 
sake of their children. Thus a demand was created for Rabbis with 
more modern tendencies. Chicago attracted to itself a great many of 
these Rabbis who, without exception, made a most valuable contri- 
bution to the Jewish community. They are imbued with a sense 
of the high responsibility which is theirs and are fully conscious of 
the important part each has to play, not only in a religious sense 
but in an all-embracing cultural one. 

A. L. Lassen, Rabbi for almost ten years of congregation B'nai 
Zion in Rogers Park, is an ardent student and seeker of knowl- 
edge and wisdom as well as a Hebrew scholar. He has built up 
a fine congregation with a substantial membership. The Hebrew 

270 



REFORM AND CONSERVATISM 

school which he conducts is a model institution, yet he has found 
time to interest himself in all communal affairs while pursuing 
a postgraduate course at Northwestern University where he ob- 
tained a B.A. degree last spring and since then the degree of 
H. L. D. from The Jewish Theological Seminary of New York. 
Rabbi Morris Teller of Beth Jacob — B'nai Bezalel, is another of this 
admirable type of Rabbi. With a splendid Hebraic back-ground, 
and a profound knowledge of its literature he combines an inti- 
macy with secular learning; and these qualities together with his 
gentle disposition bring to mind some of the Rabbis in Israel gen- 
erations ago, about whom so many beautiful stories have been 
written. Rabbi Max Kadushin, of the Humboldt Boulevard Tem- 
ple is one of the younger American type, of the Conservative school. 
He is eloquent, keen of mind and distinctively inclined towards 
all modern tendencies in Judaism. Much of his time he devotes 
to the various cultural branches in Zionism. He is active in the 
Avukah, Young Judea and all other phases of the Jewish national 
movement. 

To be born in Palestine, study in the Yeshivath Pri Etz Chayim, 
obtain "Semicha" from the savants of that institution and be a 
conservative Rabbi of a large congregation, in a large city, is the 
distinction held by Dr. Abraham Elija Abramowitz, Rabbi of 
Beth Hamidrosh Hagodel, Albany Park, Chicago. Dr. Abramo- 
witz was born in Jerusalem, Palestine, October 17, 1891, the son 
of Rabbi Bernard (Sachar) Abramowitz and Miriam (Charlaps). 
He attended the schools in Jerusalem and entered the Yeshivath 
Pri Etz Chayim, where he was ordained as Rabbi in 191 1. Coming 
to the United States he was matriculated in the Lincoln-Jefferson 
University, where in 1919 he received the degree of Th. B and in 
1920 the degree of Th. D. From 1915 to 1918 he was Rabbi in 
Shreveport, La. and from 1919 to 1922 in Fort Worth, Tex. 

In 1922 he was called to Chicago to take charge of the Mid- 
western Bureau of the Zionist organization, in which capacity Dr. 
Abramowitz rendered efficient service. He remained in that office 
until 1925 when he went to New York to become Director of the 
National Fund Bureau of America. He returned to Chicago in 

271 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

1929, when he received the call of Beth Hamidrosh Hagodel, and 
he has been ministering to the spiritual needs of that congregation 
ever since. In addition to his Talmudic scholarship and linguistic 
ability, he is a profound student of the Bible. He is now devoting 
himself to an extensive work on comparative religion. 

Rabbi Birnbaum, of Logan Square congregation, Rabbi Samuel 
Benjamin, of the South side Hebrew Congregation and Rabbi 
Abrahm Horwitz are some of the newer arrivals who have not 
had much time as yet to reveal their attainments or prove their 
usefulness to the Jewish community. 

Meanwhile the Reform wing of Judaism is also following the 
trend of more liberal forms of religion and has gained a stronger 
foothold and a larger following. Among the Reform Rabbis, Dr. 
Felix A. Levy, of Temple Emanuel has been known in Chicago 
for the past twenty-three years. The son of Alexander and Kathe- 
rine (Bergdoll) Levy he was born in New York, October 20, 1884. 
Dr. Levy completed his academic education in the College of the 
city of New York, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree 
in 1904. He then entered the Hebrew Union College and graduated 
as Rabbi in 1907. In 1908 he came to Emanuel Congregation of 
Chicago and still occupies its pulpit. He took graduate work in 
the University of Chicago and in 1917 the degree of Ph. D. was 
conferred on him. He has been very active in the Chicago Rabbi- 
nical Association and likewise in the Central Conference of Amer- 
ican Rabbis, on whose board he has served as secretary for many 
years. Dr. Levy is a scholar, a thinker and an idealist. He has 
continually proven the sincerity of his convictions. For many years 
he was opposed to Zionism and during that period missed no 
opportunity to attack it. When President Wilson addressed his 
famous Rosh Hashonah greetings to Dr. Stephen S. Wise, in which 
the President declared himself in favor of a Jewish Homeland in 
Palestine, Dr. Felix A. Levy took exception to President Wilson's 
attitude and caused a lengthy harangue to be published in the daily 
press. He minced no words and gave full expression to his antago- 
nistic views, denouncing Zionism as an impractical dream as well 
as an unpatriotic demonstration which was bound to lead to dis- 

272 



REFORM AND CONSERVATISM 

aster and great misfortune to all the Jews in the diaspora. Some 
years later, Dr. Levy made a visit to Palestine and lo! he returned 
an ardent Zionist. He made no secret of his great change of mind 
and heart but proclaimed his new convictions from the pulpit of 
his temple and other platforms, declaring himself converted to the 
cause and ready to give his services to it whenever called upon. 
It is not easy for a man to admit a change of opinion upon a 
subject of such world-wide importance. 

Dr. G. George Fox, Rabbi of South Shore Temple, was born 
in Chicago in 1883. He attended the University of Chicago where 
he received the degrees of Ph. B. and M. A. Illinois Wesleyan 
University honored him by conferring the degree of Ph. D. upon 
him. He graduated from the Union Hebrew College in 1908 and 
was called to the pulpit in Fort Worth,, Texas. Aside from his 
Rabbinical duties he served as president of the Texas Social Wel- 
fare Conference and also acted as Chaplain in a Texas penal in- 
stitution. He was a member of the executive committee of the 
Central Conference of America Rabbis, and secretary of the Alumni 
Association of the Hebrew Union College. He was an active mem- 
ber of the B'nai B nth and when the United States entered the 
World War was one of the organizers of the "Soldiers and Sailors 
Welfare League." He returned to Chicago in 1922 and engaged 
in the work of organizing a much needed temple in the South 
Shore district, the pulpit of which he now occupies. Dr. Fox like 
his colleague, Dr. Felix A. Levy, visited Palestine, several years 
ago and he too was captivated by its historic splendor. He returned 
a full-fledged Zionist. 

Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn, spiritual leader of Temple Beth 
Israel, in Albany Park, was born in Russia, November 27, 1889. 
He received his early education in the Chedarim of his native 
country but immediately upon his arrival in America in 1906 he 
entered high school in Newark, N. J. He graduated from the He- 
brew Union College in 1917, a year after he received the degree 
of B. A. from the University of Cincinnati. For several years Rabbi 
Mendelsohn was an instructor in the Hebrew Union College and 
president of the Hebrew Speaking Society of Cincinnati. In Hunt- 

273 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ington, W. Va., he was given his first pulpit. He was resident Rabbi 
of the Jewish Welfare Board at Fort Slocum. He came to Chicago 
in answer to a call from Beth Israel Temple, of Albany Park, in 
May 1919. He was elected secretary of the Chicago Rabbinical 
Association, has been very active in all Jewish communal matters 
and yet with all his duties found time to serve on the editorial staff 
of the Chicago Sentinel. It is rather characteristic of many Rabbis 
to fancy themselves excellent writers. Rabbi Mendelsohn, however 
actually possesses genuine talent and has demonstrated the fullness 
of his ability. His keen sense of humor has been admired by many 
readers and he uses it to embellish his style with a discretion and 
delicacy which makes his work extremely attractive. He has made 
considerable research into the presence of humor in Yiddish and 
Hebrew literature and has acquired quite a collection of works 
dealing with that subject. 

Jacob H. Singer, Rabbi of Temple Mizpah, was born in Kreutz- 
burg, Latvia, May 5, 1883. Eight years later he was brought by 
his parents to the United States and they settled in Buffalo, New 
York. He attended school in that city and in 1903 he entered the 
Hebrew Union College, and at the same time the University of 
Cincinnati. In 1907 he was awarded a fellowship in philosophy 
by the latter institution and received B. A. and M. A. degrees in 
1908. One year later he was ordained as Rabbi. For three years 
he occupied the pulpit of Beth Israel Temple, in York, Pa., at the 
same time carrying studies at Johns Hopkins University. From 
York he was called to the B nai Jeshurun Congregation, in Lincoln, 
Nebraska, where he remained for seven years. During that period 
he was associate professor of the theory and history of music, at 
the University of Nebraska. In 1923 he came to Chicago to assume 
the ministerial duties at Temple Mizpah in Rogers Park. 

Rabbi Jacob H. Singer, built up a splendid congregation. When 
he came to the Temple, he found that twenty-six families con- 
stituted the congregation and less than fifty children were in 
attendance at the religious school. Today more than three hundred 
families make the Temple their spiritual home and more than 
five hundred children partake of the benefits of religious instruc- 

274 



THE LITTLE MOTHER AND THE BIG BROTHER 

tions given by Dr. Singer and his excellent staff of teachers. His 
main object is to promulgate Jewish culture, with an emphasis on 
the "Jewish-" Dr. Singer is well-versed in the history and theory 
of music and has spent much of his time in tracing the history 
and development of the synagogual melodies, which came down 
to us through the generations. Himself a musician, his lectures 
on the subject of Jewish music have been of vast interest from a 
technical as well as an intellectual point of view. 

XIX 

THE LITTLE MOTHER AND THE BIG BROTHER 

Not very long ago in the company of my wife I called on Mr. 
and Mrs. Julius Savit, Superintendent and Matron of the Old 
People's Home. (B.M.Z.) It was a late Friday afternoon and our 
good friends insisted that we remain for Kiddush, which meant for 
the Friday evening meal. 

When Julius Savit was appointed to the position as head of the 
first Orthodox institution in Chicago, I entertained no doubts as 
to his complete fitness for the job. What surprised me most on 
that Friday afternoon and evening we spent in their company and 
incidentally in the company of the one hundred and sixty old men 
and women in their care, was the devotion lavished on these women 
by Mrs. Savit, who though young enough to be their grandchild 
is regarded by them as their little mother. In all my experience 
I have never witnessed such warm friendliness as exists between 
Mrs. Savit and these old Jewish women. They seem to adore her 
and she loves them as her own children. 

It happened that at sunset a fuse blew out and although the 
lighting system was only temporarily disabled it interfered with 
the blessing of the candles. The women came one by one to Mrs. 
Savit and with childlike confidence each whispered: "Mrs. Savit, 
the lights are out of order and I cannot bless the candles." Mrs. 
Savit like a fond mother, pacifying young children sent them off 
one by one with assurance that the lights would soon be in order 
and they would have ample time to bless the candles. 

275 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

In the synagogue of the institution, where we went with the 
old people to receive the "Princess Sabbath," I observed a peaceful 
happiness on the faces of all the worshippers, all of whom except- 
ing only my wife and I were residents of the institution. They 
all came up to give me Sholom and greet me with "Gut Shabbos." 
Those who knew me reminded me of incidents of long ago. The 
Sabbath spirit seemed to have been contagious, and for the first 
time in many years memories carried me back to the days when 
I was a young boy in my father's home. The happiness and con- 
tentment that hovered around this place brought a soothing feel- 
ing in my own heart; I felt that I was part of this happy family. 
I watched with pleasure the harmony that existed between the little 
mother and her numerous children and the intelligent understand- 
ing between Julius Savit and his cheerful little family. 

A few weeks after my interesting visit to the B.M.Z. I was asked 
by Leopold Deutelbaum, formerly the superintendent of the South 
side Jewish Orphan's Home, and now a member of its Board of 
Directors, to accompany him to the Home. Knowing my an- 
tipathy to institutional child education, Mr. Deutelbaum wanted 
me to see for myself this institution, its management and system. 
One morning I called Mr. Deutelbaum on the 'phone and informed 
him that I was ready to go with him. (It was my purpose to make 
my visit an unheralded affair, so that I might see the regular daily 
routine of the institution.) We were met by Mr. Bernard H. Free- 
man, Mr. Deutelbaum's successor as superintendent, (the latter had 
the tact to disappear immediately after he presented me to Mr. 
Freeman, and I did not see him again until I was ready to leave). 
Mr. Freeman, a young man in the middle thirties made a favorable 
impression on me from the very beginning. In the first five minutes 
of our conversation I found that he was no professional "social 
welfare worker" and instead of boasting of college degrees he 
spoke eagerly of the things he had accomplished and of the many 
things he hoped to accomplish. He does not waste his time writing 
long reports in high sounding phrases and flowery style. He seems 
to have one purpose, one ideal: the usefulness to society and to 
themselves of the two hundred future citizens entrusted to his care. 

276 



THE LITTLE MOTHER AND THE BIG BROTHER 

His aim is to mould their characters, not into one uniform pattern 
but into individual personalities. The consciousness of his duty 
towards these children is a part of his very being. And yet his 
attitude towards them is not that of an overseer, teacher or even 
parent; the children look to him as they would to an older brother. 
They confide in him, consult him and discuss with him all their 
childish problems. 

My visit to the Old People's Home was filled with joy; it pro- 
duced a feeling of gratification for I was among people who though 
close to the end, were living in peace and happiness. My visit to 
the Orphan Home caused me to reflect on the future — not my 
own — but of these children. I heard the young voices ringing and 
mingling with each other. I saw them at play, I heard them quar- 
rel, I conversed with them — no one in charge of the institution 
was present — and I was convinced that I was in the midst of one 
hundred and fifty, (some of them were on vacation or visiting 
their relatives) potential citizens who would contribute much to 
their country's good and bring honor to the Jewish community. 

"in? 'fv *rr *rF *Tr 

Among the oldest organizations in this city is the Independent 
Order Bikur Cholim Ukadishu. It was founded in 1872 and the 
name indicates that its original purpose was to form the nucleus 
for another fraternal order, perhaps in retaliation to the B'nai B'rith 
which at that period refused to admit to membership Jews who did 
not come from German provinces. Its founders were composed of 
Polish and Lithuanian Jews. It never progressed further than the 
one chapter. It is distinctively Jewish in character and although it 
stresses no particular kind of Jewishness, it abides by a stringent 
rule that no candidate is eligible to admission if he is married out- 
side of the Jewish faith; any member who intermarries becomes 
suspended ipso facto and forfeits all rights and benefits as a mem- 
ber. Among its earliest members are Simon Ager and Abraham 
Bernstein, who joined the year it was organized; H. H. Bernstein, 
who became affiliated with it in 1876, and Jacob Wolf, in 1877. 

The organization has over five hundred members; it is not rare 
to find three generations in one family sitting side by side at meet- 

277 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ings. In the many years of its existence the Bikur Cholim has a 

record of many activities in which it participated effectively and has 

contributed much to the well-being of the Jewish community. 

Thomas Piser, well known in the Jewish community, and a past 

president of the order, is one of its leading spirits. 

* * * * # 

The Conference of Jewish Women's Clubs is one of the finest 
achievements of Jewish women in Chicago. It is a federation of all 
worth-while clubs, ninety-three in number, and is composed of 
their representatives. Officers are elected annually and meetings are 
held regularly, but it functions only when a need arises for the 
united action of all the clubs affiliated with the "Conference." The 
need may be of local, national or international character. This or- 
ganization of organizations rendered splendid service in the many 
"drives" during the past fifteen years. It is now headed by Mrs. 
Harry J. Myerson. Mrs. Hannah G. Solomon, Mrs. Ignace Reis and 
Mrs. M. A. Weinberg are among its most active workers. 

Another Jewish Women's organization is the "Chicago Jewish 
Women's Aid." It has a large membership which is doing much 
cultural and philanthropic work but nothing of a Jewish character. 
The only Jewish feature of the club is its membership. Its tenden- 
cies are so broad-minded that when it selects a lecturer, the choice 
is invariably for a non-Jewish one, even though a Jew on the same 
subject will do as well if not better. 

The Jewish Women's Art club is an unostentatious group whose 
members do not belong to the wealthy class, but which has a high 
purpose and with limited means is doing splendid work. It was 
organized in 1923 to aid poor and struggling artists and to foster 
Jewish art in the community. In the ten years of its existence it has 
arranged many exhibits with great success and rendered assistance 
to painters, sculptors, poets, dramatists and musicians. 

Foremost among its active members are Mrs. Jonah Spivak, Sarah 
Patt and Mrs. S. Ostrowsky, whose zeal and enthusiasm have made 
it a potent factor in the development and promulgation of the fine 
arts among Jewish women in Chicago. 

Of the many Jewish Clubs in this city, during the past forty-five 

278 



MEN WHO FOUGHT POVERTY 

years, two have survived: The Standard Club, on Plymouth Court 
near Jackson Boulevard, and The Covenant Club, on Dearborn 
street near Madison street. While social clubs, as a rule, contribute 
little to culture, these two clubs, however, are serving well the Jew- 
ish community in this city. They are the homes of every noble 
enterprise and every worthy cause is being fostered in these two 
clubs. 

XX 

MEN WHO FOUGHT POVERTY 

My strong aversion to scientific charity has led me into error. I 
was questioned by a friend : "How are you going to treat the Jewish 
Charities in your book?" My reply was: "Charity is no part of 
culture, and since my history deals exclusively with the cultural 
aspect I need not be concerned with the subject." I failed to realize 
that among those who were the pioneers of our charitable institu- 
tions, were many great idealists who founded charities as a medium 
of expression for their idealism. Solomon L. Sulzberger was an 
outstanding figure of that group. He was born in Philadelphia, 
Pa., February 5, 1857, into an illustrious family, with Orthodox 
tendencies. They have all contributed much to the cultural stand- 
ard of American Jewry, but we need only mention as examples 
Judge Sulzberger of Philadelphia, a brother and Dr. Cyrus Adler 
of New York, a brother-in-law. 

In 1875, when eighteen years old, Solomon abandoned his studies 
for a business career; he left his native city and came to Chicago. 
Here he engaged in the business of manufacturing paints and met 
with great financial success. His Judaism underwent a change and 
he joined a Reform congregation. While he freed himself entirely 
from orthodoxy, he did so purely out of principle, but his strong 
sympathies for Orthodox Jewry followed him all through life. 
It was because of these sympathies that early in his career he be- 
came identified with the Jewish Charities and remained its cham- 
pion until his death. For many years he was president of the 
Jewish Aid Society. After the charities were reorganized under the 

279 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

leadership of Judge Julian W. Mack, Solomon L. Sulzberger was 
one of their most prominent leaders. With all his ability and wealth 
he fought poverty and worked for the alleviation of distress and 
suffering. When he died the poor lost a great friend and humanity 
was bereft of a benefactor. 

Edwin G. Foreman, president of Foreman Brothers Banking 
Company was the first president of die Associated Jewish Charities 
and remained at the head of that organization for three consecu- 
tive terms. He was active in communal work until his death. Moses 
E. Greenebaum was another member of the Jewish community 
who for many years was active in the Jewish charities in various 
official capacities. 

A. D. Lasker was associated with the Jewish Charities both as 
a liberal contributor and on the occasions when he acted so suc- 
cessfully as chairman of drives for funds. He proved then that 
his ability to make others contribute to charity was not less than 
his own willingness to give. 

One of the most interesting types in the group generally identi- 
fied as the Charity Group, is Sol Kline. He was born on June 
29, 1870, in Denver, Colorado, the son of Joseph and Sophia (Baer) 
Kline. When he was a year old he was brought by his parents 
to Chicago. He attended the public schools of this city until the 
age of thirteen. When he was only twelve years old he started 
to work after school hours for Beifeld Brothers, manufacturers of 
women's cloaks. His duties were to go to the sweatshops on the 
West Side and check up the bundles. His parents were obviously 
not wealthy, but he now came face to face with real poverty and 
saw the conditions of the immigrants. The youth of twelve was 
greatly moved by their soul-crushing penury. The miserable evi- 
dences of want made a lasting impression on the child's mind and 
he resolved that when he grew to manhood he would pledge him- 
self to help the poor and all his efforts would be devoted to ease 
the burden of those whose sweat was mingled with blood. For 
eighteen years he worked for the same firm, but at the age of thirty 
he left the employ of Biefeld Bros, to establish a business of his 
own, in the same line. A year later he returned to the old con- 

280 



MEN WHO FOUGHT POVERTY 

cern, not as an employee but as the successor to the Beifelds. As 
he grew more successful in his business he did not forget his early 
resolutions and with the increase of wealth he increased his acti- 
vities on behalf of the poor. Sol Kline differs from most supporters 
of charities. He knows that there are other needs besides bodily 
comforts and other ideals besides charity. He is interested in all 
things that give promise of ennobling the Jewish mind and body. 
When some nine years ago, the proposition was advanced to the 
Board of the Jewish Charities that they create a budget for the 
fostering of Talmud Torahs, there was strong opposition from 
the "Assimilationists." Nevertheless Sol Kline and A. G. Becker, 
the most aggressive sponsors of the proposition carried it to fulfill- 
ment. When Dr. Magnes came here from Palestine, as the Dean 
of the Hebrew University, to seek financial support for that institu- 
tion, he found the Assimilationists strongly opposed to the Univer- 
sity because it bore the title "Hebrew." Sol Kline, Leo F. Wormser 
and James Becker, the son of A. G. Becker, championed the cause 
and as a result a promise of assistance was granted and a committee 
was organized whose task it was to make annual contributions to 
the Hebrew University in Palestine. For many years Sol Kline has 
been the Vice President of the Jewish Charities; he was also for a 
time president of the Standard Club, both offices are evidences of the 
esteem in which he is held by those who know him. 

# * # # # 

Benjamin J. Schiff and Samuel Philipson are two members of 
the Board of Jewish Charities who represent the Orthodox wing 
on that august body, and both have served the Orthodox community 
in many capacities and have manifested on all occasions their in- 
terest in Jewish affairs. Benjamin J. Schiff was born in Mariam- 
pole, on March i, 1861 and at the age of two was brought to the 
United States. The family settled in Chicago. The city in those 
days had about six Orthodox Jewish families and there were no 
facilities for supplying a child with a Jewish education. Fortunately 
for the boy, his father was not unacquainted with Hebrew lore 
and although it took almost all of his time to provide an existence 

281 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

for his family, yet he was able to spare enough time to instruct 
his son in elementary Hebrew. An ambitious lad, Benjamin Schiff 
as soon as he was old enough tried his hand at various enterprises 
to augment the family treasury. In 1892 he opened a foreign ex- 
change and ticket office on Jefferson street between O'Brien and 
Maxwell streets. Through hard work, economy and strict atten- 
tion to business he gained the confidence of his customers and be- 
gan to show evidence of prosperity. In the course of time Benjamin 
J. Schiff became a leading banker in that part of the city. As he 
grew in wealth his sense of responsibility for his less fortunate breth- 
ren grew proportionately and his generosity and philanthropy in- 
creased from day to day. In fact there is no doubt but that he and 
Samuel Philipson were the very first of the immigrants from East- 
ern Europe to lead the way in making substantial contributions to 
the various Jewish institutions on the West Side. His name is 
identified with every philanthropic, charitable and cultural insti- 
tution on the Jewish West Side. He is a devotee to the cause of 
Zionism and has contributed many thousands of dollars thereto. 
He is on the Board of the Jewish People's Institute and has made 
substantial contributions to its upbuilding. He has been a Director 
of the B. M. Z. ever since it came into being; a member of the 
Board of the Marks Nathan Orphan Home and one of its active 
builders. He was the first treasurer and one of the organizers of 
the Federated Orthodox Jewish Charities and he is still a member 
of the Board of the Jewish Charities. 

Samuel Philipson was born in Kalvarie, Russia, June 1, 1865. 
Shortly after his birth his father left for the United States and 
made his home in Chicago. When Sam was four years old his 
mother disposed of all her belongings, took her children and came 
to Chicago to join her husband. Here the children attended school 
and Cheder. While still a youngster Sam started a general mer- 
chandise business with his brother, Joseph, at 515V2 S. Jefferson 
street. In 1906 he started out in the wholesale business for him- 
self. With great pride he relates that at the time when the B. M. Z. 
was first organized he was a young man working on a salary, and 
salaries in those days were not very high, yet he contributed twenty- 

282 



SONS OF THEIR SIRES 

five dollars to the new institution. A vast sum it must have seemed 
to him in those days and was probably all the money he possessed. 
But it carried with it no less sincerity and warmth than the two 
thousand dollars he contributed to the Restoration Fund of the 
Zionist Organization in 1914 and the equal amounts he has given 
annually to that fund ever since. He has been a liberal contributor 
to the Jewish people's Institute, to the Jewish Charities of which 
he is a Vice-president and to the various drives for the war suf- 
ferers. In fact Samuel Philipson has been actively associated with 
every philanthropic movement. 

XXI 

SONS OF THEIR SIRES 

I have been reading a history of old Jewish communities in Polish 
cities, recently published by Professor Meyer Balaban, and also 
"The Jews of Venice," so masterly executed by Cecil Roth. Com- 
paring the histories of Jewish communities in the old world with 
those of our American cities, one is struck by a remarkable con- 
trast: leadership of Jewish communities in the old world descended 
in a long succession from father to son for many generations. 
Such is not the history of Jewish leadership in our own time and 
country. Very few sons have risen to fill the positions vacated by 
the demise of their sires. We are forced to the conclusion that 
leadership is an acquired characteristic and not an hereditary trait. 
The exceptions to this rule are so rare that but little space will be 
required to enumerate them. 

Exception number one, is the case of Julius Rosenthal and his 
two distinguished sons : Lessing and James. It is now about twenty- 
six years since Julius Rosenthal's interesting and meritorious career 
was cut short by an untimely and accidental death. In a recent 
article by Dean John H. Wigmore, of the Northwestern Univer- 
sity Law School, he writes about the Julius Rosenthal Foundation 
for general Law, established in 1919 to honor the memory of 
Julius Rosenthal whom he describes as "the most learned man of 
his time at the Chicago Bar." While we do not believe in the 

283 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

pessimistic view that "the good men do is oft interred with their 
bones," still the old generation of his time is rapidly passing and 
the new generation takes little stock of the past, Julius Rosenthal 
might probably have been almost forgotten by this time were it 
not for his two sons who are perpetuating his memory by their 
own personal contributions to the culture of t Chicago generally 
and of Jewish Chicago in particular. Both are worthy descendants 
of their noble sire. 

Lessing Rosenthal was born in Chicago, November 23, 1868, the 
son of Julius and Jette (Wolf) Rosenthal. He was educated in 
the public schools and at the Johns Hopkins University. In 1888 
he received the degree of A. B.; soon thereafter he entered the 
Northwestern University Law School where he obtained the de- 
gree LL.B., he passed the bar examination and entered the law 
firm of his father where he remained until the latter's death, in 
1905. After the death of his father, Lessing and another distin- 
guished Chicagoan, Charles H. Hamill, organized the law firm of 
Rosenthal and Hamill. Several years later Leo F. Wormser joined 
the firm that is now known as "Rosenthal, Hamill & Wormser." 
Lessing Rosenthal occupies an enviable position at the Chicago Bar. 
He is acknowledged to possess a fine legal mind, a nobility of 
purpose and an attractive personality. At recent convocation exer- 
cises Northwestern University conferred upon him the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Laws and he was described as "long eminent 
at the Bar for his exact legal scholarship." His law firm enjoys 
the reputation of being among the most prominent in the city. 
From his appearance one would hardly suspect Lessing Rosenthal 
of being a priest in the Temple of Justice. Rather he conveys the 
impression of being a votary in the Temple of the Arts. Whenever 
I chance to observe him on the street or in the courts I feel con- 
scious of being in the presence of a literary genius on his way to 
or from an exclusive literary circle where his latest drama was 
read and submitted to the criticism of a group of distinguished 
literati. Or he might be the honored guest artist going to attend 
an afternoon musicale or some other artistic or social function in 
exclusive circles. His suavity, gentle manner, dignity without 

284 



SONS OF THEIR SIRES 

snobbishness and his leisurely movements, combine to give that 
impression. And yet, Rosenthal is a man who knows how to 
fight for his ideals and never evades a battle in which his principles 
are involved. A firm believer in the higher principles of democ- 
racy, he is a bitter enemy of political corruption and for many 
years has been leading the fight for clean municipal and legislative 
politics. He was for a long period president of the Municipal 
Voters League, (to the detriment of his law practice, for he in- 
curred the enmity of certain of his clients). He is one of the lead- 
ers of the Chicago Bar Association, and has been a leader of many 
reform organizations, mostly of a civic nature. He has also been 
a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Manual Train- 
ing School and of the Michael Reese Hospital. Lessing Rosenthal 

is the true son of his sire. 

# # # # # 

James Rosenthal is the elder of the two brothers and accordingly 
he should have been treated first, but to use his own words: "My 
brother should have been born first, as he is first in everything, but 
having been slow in coming, as he usually is, I could wait for him 
no longer and here I am." James Rosenthal was born in Chicago, 
on April 10, 1859 and received his elementary and high school 
education in Chicago. He attended Lake Forest University and 
Yale Law School and in 1880 he was admitted to the Bar. Last 
year he celebrated a half century of practice at the Chicago Bar. 
From 1893 to 1896 James Rosenthal was a member of the Board 
of Education of the Chicago public school system. In 191 1 he 
was a candidate for Judge of the Superior Court of Cook County. 
He was the first secretary of the Young Men's Hebrew Charities 
when it was first organized in 1882. 

As an admirer of Abraham Lincoln he has gained possession of 
the largest and finest collection of photographs, paintings, prints 
and sculptures of the great emancipator, to be found in any indi- 
vidual collection. For many years he was the senior partner of 
the law firm of Rosenthal, Kurz & Hirschl until a short time ago 
when the firm was dissolved and he resumed his practice by him- 
self. James Rosenthal is regarded as an able advocate, a man who 

285 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

evinces an interest in literature and a keen appreciation of belles- 
letters but to my mind his fine sense of humor is his greatest at- 
tribute. An hour's conversation with him is the kind of spiritual 

pleasure one finds in the classic humorists. 

# * # # # 

Another exception to the general rule is Frank L. Sulzberger. 
He was born in Chicago, December 3, 1887. His parents, Solomon 
L. and Clara (Frank) Sulzberger, sent him through the public 
schools of this city and afterwards to the University of Chicago. 
In 1905 he joined his father in the business of manufacturing 
paints. Frank was influenced by his father not only in choosing a 
career but also by his father's unstinting generosity in helping those 
who could not help themselves. In early manhood Frank L. Sulz- 
berger joined the Young Men's Jewish Charities and later became 
a member of its Board of Directors. From that beginning he 
graduated into the Associated Jewish Charities where he soon 
gained recognition for his understanding of the various problems 
which confronted them and his ability in working out their solu- 
tion. Before long he was elected a member of the Board of that 
organization. 

While interested in all phases of social work, Frank Sulzberger 
has given most of his time to child welfare. For eight years he 
was a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Home Find- 
ing Society. He is an active member of the committee on research 
work of the Jewish Charities. Julius Rosenwald appointed him as 
trustee of the Rosenwald Fund, the only Jewish member outside 
of the Rosenwald family. He has followed in the footprints of 
his sire, not only spiritually but in the business world as well. Solo- 
mon L. Sulzberger was at one time president of the American 
Paint & Varnish Men's Association and now his son, Frank, is 

serving the Association in the same capacity. 

* # # # # 

James H. Becker not only inherits from his father his high sense 
of honor and almost religious zeal to serve humanity, but if it is 
true that sons take after their mother's brothers, then I am certain 
that his imaginative mind and poetic soul come to him from his 

286 



SONS OF THEIR SIRES 

uncle, I. K. Friedman. When I say "his poetic soul" I use the 
phrase not metaphorically but literally. The great bards sing of 
things not as they are but as they wish them to be; James Becker 
translates his poems into action. Ever since he grew to manhood 
he has labored for a better humanity, and a better world 
for the human family to inhabit. While his sympathetic heart 
throbs for all who are oppressed and persecuted, it beats a trifle 
faster for Jewish woes and Jewish sorrows. Immediately after the 
armistice was signed he joined the American Relief Association 
with the rank of First Lieutenant and was sent overseas. He did 
effective work in the war-stricken area. He petitioned for trans- 
fer to Poland with its multitude of Jews, because he knew that the 
condition of the Jews there would be worse than that of any other 
people and as he himself said : "I felt that a Jew in the organization 
could do so much more for our people." 

James Becker was sent to Lemburg, then to Danzig, the corridor 
to Poland, where he remained for six months, during which time 
he was cut off from the rest of the world. He was called to Paris 
where he got in touch with the Jewish Joint Distribution Commit- 
tee. From Paris he went to Roumania and there too he remained 
six months. He returned to the United States to participate in a 
drive for funds for the relief of the war sufferers. At the con- 
clusion of the drive, he went to Bessarabia and Bukowina. While 
there news reached him of the deplorable conditions, of hunger 
and starvation in Russia. He took with him a satchel full of money, 
part of which was raised by the Jews in Roumania, and arrived in 
Russia. 

When we consider that James H. Becker was born into an ex- 
tremely wealthy family, reared amidst the greatest luxury and never 
presented face to face with the stark realities of life, then we can 
appreciate more fully the extent of his devotion to his people. To 
exile himself from his own country, after he was mustered out of 
the army, and to return to the desolate wastes of war-torn Europe 
required an enormous amount of idealism. 

During his travels on his mission of relief, he came into personal 
touch with many leading Jews of Europe, at a period when Jewish 

287 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

nationalism was at its ascendency. A mind as susceptible to and 
as passionately eager for high ideals as that of Becker was bound 
to yield to the influence of those men and if he was not converted 
to political Zionism he at least became a strong sympathizer to the 
cause and he now openly professes cultural Zionism. 

Upon the demise of his illustrious father, James took up his 
father's work, not only in the counting rooms on La Salle street, 
but also in all the philanthropic work in which the older man was 
active. It is interesting to hear this enthusiastic and attractive young 
fellow talk of his father. Frankly and with the naivete of a young- 
ster he relates the story of his father's life; how in 1893 he met 
with financial reverses and left his banking house with a single 
dollar between him and starvation, after he voluntarily surrendered 
to his creditors all his possessions which were still insufficient to 
cover all the liabilities; how a few years later when he recovered 
and became again a financial power on La Salle street, he paid 
back every cent with interest. James Becker is proud of his father's 
career, proud of his generosity, honor and honesty. He constantly 
endeavors to emulate that life, a noble ambition for the son of a 
noble sire. 

James H. Becker was born in Chicago on December 11, 1893, 
the son of Abraham G. and Kate (Friedman) Becker. He attended 
school in Chicago and then went to Cornell University. In the 
fall of 1921 he joined his father in business after his return from 
Europe, where he spent almost three years relieving the poor and 
distressed victims of a World war. 

# 41. «u» «m, Jfc 

TV* "7P* •7T TV* 

When Adolf Kraus departed this life it must have been with a 
smile of contentment. Not only because every page in his book 
of life was filled with activities, making a record closely written 
with noble services rendered to humanity, but also by reason of his 
consciousness that he was not sinking into oblivion, that he was 
leaving behind at least two sons who would carry on his work: 
Albert and Dr. Harry A. Kraus. Both have justified his confidence 
by treading the paths he would have them follow. 

288 



SONS OF THEIR SIRES 

Dr. Harry A. Kraus was born in Chicago, February 7, 1884. He 
graduated from the public schools and took a premedical course 
at the University of Illinois. In 1906, when he obtained his M. D. 
degree he sailed for Europe where he undertook post-graduate 
work at the Universities of Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, Berlin and 
Paris. He returned to the United States in 1909, came back to 
Chicago and here entered upon a medical career. He was an as- 
sistant professor in the Chicago Poly-Clinic from 1914 to 1918. He 
was a member of the staffs of the Grant Hospital, the North Chi- 
cago and the American Hospital. He has contributed many scien- 
tific treatises to leading medical publications. Ever since his boy- 
hood he has been interested in the B'nai B nth movement and 
when he reached legal age he joined the order by becoming a 
member of the Hillel Lodge. He has held many high offices in 
the Order and has been president of the Sixth District. He is still 
active and activity in the B'nai B'rith bespeaks a profound interest 
in all Jewish affairs. 

Albert, though the younger of the two brothers, is even more 
energetic and enthusiastic than the Doctor. He gives all his spare 
time to the cause to which his father devoted almost half of his 
life time. When Adolf Kraus celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday, 
members of the Lodges in this city tendered a dinner in his honor 
and at which they surprised the guest of honor by presenting him 
with a newly organized Lodge bearing the distinguished name 
"Adolf Kraus Lodge" and consisting of one thousand members. 
Albert Kraus was greatly instrumental in organizing the Lodge and 
since then has been one of its most active members. He was the 
only president of the Adolf Kraus Lodge to be re-elected for a 
second term. In his unaffected manner, his readiness to serve a 
fellow-being, his ready wit and sense of humor, he follows more 
closely in his father's steps perhaps than any of the other children. 

*#F tF tF x tF 

I have known Jacob M. Loeb for many years. I have watched him 
with admiration, as he pursued his various communal and humani- 
tarian activities. I have seen the unlimited force of his energy, his 
love for work and his ability to make others work in behalf of 

289 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

social welfare. He cannot conceal his impatience for those who 
when confronted by difficult problems, throw up their hands in 
despair and exclaim "It can't be done," a phrase which does not 
exist in his own vocabulary. Quietly and unostentatiously his son 
has for many years been observing the example of his renowned 
sire, while he carved out a career of his own. 

Hamilton Moritz Loeb, the oldest son of Jacob M. and Rose 
(Stein) Loeb, was born in Chicago on September 16, 1900. He 
attended public and private schools here until he enrolled in the 
University of Illinois. At the age of eighteen he received an 
appointment to West Point, but at the end of two months in the 
National Military Academy, Hamilton Loeb came to the conclusion 
that he could serve humanity in a more effective manner than by 
the study of how to destroy human life. He went to New York 
and entered a branch office of his father's business. In 1921 he re- 
turned to Chicago and joined his father in the main office of Eliel 
and Loeb. A year later he was elected a vice-president of the 
company. 

At the age of twenty-four Hamilton M. Loeb was elected to the 
board of directors of the Young Men's Jewish Charities. He is 
secretary and director of the Jewish Social Service Bureau. He was 
recently elected vice-president of the newly organized "Chicago 
Insurance Agents Association." 

It is interesting to note the contrast in the personalities of the 
father, Jacob M. Loeb and his son whose worthy ambition it is to 
emulate his life of service. The former, as we have already de- 
scribed him, is persistent and determined; he forces his opinions 
and ideas on his listeners by sheer strength of character and exerts 
the force of his will to gain his point. Hamilton Loeb, on the 
other hand, though just as confident in his own Tightness, wins 
his opponent with reason and logic, mitigated somewhat by the 
warmth and gentleness of his personality. His friendly manner 
and charming enthusiasm make him a most likable person. These 
qualities together with his keenly logical mind places him among 
the few outstanding types of Chicago's young Jewry. 

290 



A DREAM REALIZED 

XXII 
A DREAM REALIZED 

"The Jewish People's Institute," in the dingy old building on Blue 
Island Avenue where it was struggling for an existence. In April, 
1908, the Sacred Heart Convent, with its large tract of land, its 
beautiful gardens, and its buildings was acquired for the Jewish 
People's Institute through the generous aid of Julius Rosenwald. 
Four months later the place was properly equipped and ready to 
begin its activities. Dr. David Blaustein, Superintendent of the 
Educational Alliance of New York, was engaged to come to Chi- 
cago to take charge of the Institute. He continued as superintend- 
ent for about a year and a half, whereupon he resigned and re- 
turned to New York. During the brief period that he functioned 
as its head he was assisted by Harry A. Lipsky and Miss Julia Fels- 
enthal. Among the many features he inaugurated, there were two 
outstanding ones that were fully in accord with the dreams and 
aspirations of the men and women in whose minds the idea of an 
institute was born. One was a modern Synagogue presided over 
by Rabbi Morris Levin, a graduate of the Schechter School; the 
other consisted of Mass meetings held on Jewish and American 
holidays. On Jewish holidays he engaged a speaker to explain in 
English to the young American Jews the significance of the day 
and on American holidays he secured a Yiddish speaker to tell the 
older immigrant Jews the meaning thereof. Dr. Joseph Pedott, his 
successor, was a young man with considerable ability and pleasing 
personality, but too young and inexperienced for so vast an enter- 
prise; he came to the Institute directly from the university. He 
too resigned after serving as Superintendent for two years. 

During the summer of 1908, after the purchase of the Taylor 
street property and before it was put to use, Philip Seman, then 
Director of the Educational Alliance of Saint Louis, Mo. was pass- 
ing through the city on his way to New York. He stopped here 
for a day or two, to visit friends. I well remember the summer 
afternoon when Nathan Kaplan, Philip Seman and I repaired to 
the newly acquired grounds soon to be converted from a Catholic 

291 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

into a Jewish institution. The beautiful spacious gardens were 
somewhat neglected and the walls around them were high and 
solid permitting no view to the outer world. The grass, not having 
been cut for many months was tall. The three of us stretched our- 
selves full-length on the long grass and dreamed of the great possi- 
bilities these grounds held for Jewish Chicago. Philip Seman 
mused aloud on what he would do if he were entrusted with so 
fine a piece of ground to use for the purpose for which it was pur- 
chased. Little did he know then that five years later he would 
become the General Director of the Chicago Hebrew Institute. 

Philip L. Seman was born in Warsaw, Poland, November n, 
1 88 1. He came to the United States with his parents, Louis and 
Selka Seman. After he received his B. S. degree from the Adelphi 
College, Brooklyn, New York, in 1902 he studied law at the Wash- 
ington University Law School, but he did not practice that profes- 
sion. Instead he gained a vast experience in various branches of 
social welfare, in New York and St. Louis, after which in 191 3 
he came to the Jewish People's Institute of Chicago, as General 
Director. During these many years he has acquired a reputation 
as one of America's leading social settlement workers. He has 
received recognition from many national organizations in social 
service, and has lectured in leading universities on subjects con- 
cerning the different phases of social welfare. He is Past President 
of the National Association of Jewish Community Centers and 
President of the National Conference of Jewish Social Workers. 

For nineteen years the Jewish People's Institute sent rays of light 
out from the building located on Taylor street; for nineteen years 
it disseminated wisdom and knowledge, ethics and ideals into 
homes, into schools and even in the streets. Perhaps few think 
of the struggle of the few pioneers, with Nathan D. Kaplan at their 
head, trying to find ways and means to establish such an institution. 
While the Chicago Hebrew Institute, following the laws of evolu- 
tion, was emerging into something stupendous something hap- 
pened which was beyond the control of the members, the General 
Director or the Executive Board. And yet that which transpired 
was the natural thing: in the nineteen years of its residence the 

292 






ROMANCE AND SCIENCE 

complexion of the neighborhood surrounding it underwent a com- 
plete change. The old Ghetto moved further West to the Lawn- 
dale district and the old neighborhood was invaded by Italians, 
Greeks, Lithuanians and negroes. If any other person but Jacob 
M. Loeb had been the president of the Board and anybody else but 
Philip Seman its General director, the Jewish People's Institute 
might not have survived the dilemma. But these two energetic 
men decided to follow the tide and erect a new building in the 
Lawndale district. Although the amount required for this under- 
taking was five times the amount it took to purchase the property 
on Taylor street, they entertained little worry for they knew that 
the money would be forthcoming. In October, 1927, a magnificent 
structure at 3500 Douglas Boulevard was dedicated as the new 
"Jewish People's Institute." It is true, the new home lacks the 
roomy grounds that were enjoyed in the old quarters, but it is one 
of the finest buildings in the country used for such a purpose and 
is provided with adequate space and equipment for almost any 
purpose. 

There has been very little change in the personnel of the men 
and women at the helm of the institution since Jacob M. Loeb 
was elected president. Julius Rosenwald is still first Vice President; 
Charles Schaflrier, second Vice President; Mrs. M. L. Rothchild, 
third Vice President; Alfred Decker, fourth Vice President; Mrs. 
Julius Stone, Recording and Correspondent Secretary; Benjamin 
J. Schiff, Financial Secretary, and Samuel Philipson, Treasurer. 
These, together with a Board of directors that is elected annually, 
are in charge of the affairs of the Jewish People's Institute. 

XXIII 

ROMANCE AND SCIENCE 

We often find that insignificant incidents lead to great events and 
movements. In 1916, Julius Rosenwald and his family visited 
Munich, Germany. One morning the elder members of the family 
set out to inspect the famous art galleries of that city. During 
their absence, little eight-year-old William, youngest son of Mr. 

293 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Rosenwald, left the hotel unnoticed and disappeared. When his 
absence was discovered a search for him was instituted but in vain. 
He was nowhere to be found. When at last he returned to the 
hotel at sundown he was questioned by his father as to where he 
had been all day. The child, unaware of the frantic search he had 
caused, replied eagerly that he had seen the greatest wonders of the 
world and insisted that his father must go with him on the follow- 
ing morning to see the marvelous display for himself. The follow- 
ing morning the boy conducted his father to "Das Deutsche 
Museum" presided over by the great scientist, Oskar von Miller. 
The father was almost as thrilled as his son at the wonders before 
him and the two lost all thought of time in the contemplation of 
the display. When Julius Rosenwald saw the influence this Mu- 
seum exercised on his young son, a new thought came to his mind 
and he resolved to found a similar institution for the youth of 
America. A few years later he submitted the idea of a "Museum 
of Science and Industry" ,to the Commercial Club of Chicago and 
enlisted its cooperation. 

Early in the spring of 1926, Julius Rosenwald called at the office 
of Leo F. Wormser and requested him to make a careful study of 
the project. He invited Mr. Wormser to meet him in Munich, 
later in the spring. The appointment was kept and the two men 
together not ( only made repeated visits to Das Deutsche Museum 
in Munich but travelled to Vienna to the Technische Museum, and 
then to London where they studied the Museum of Science, in 
South Kensington. In August of that year, ononis return to Chicago, 
Mr. Rosenwald proposed to the South Park Commissioners, that 
if they would use the full amount of money realized on the sale 
of bonds, authorized by a vote of the people in the general elections 
of 1924, to restore the crumbling Fine Arts Building, a relic of the 
World's Columbian Exposition, he would give the sum of three 
million dollars for the establishment therein of, a Museum of Science 
and Industry. His proposition was accepted and thereupon Mr. 
Wormser was advised to apply for a charter. Mr. Rosenwald re- 
quested the Commercial Club to v name the Board of Trustees for 
the new institution. The following leaders in commerce and in- 

294 



ROMANCE AND SCIENCE 

dustry, men of national reputation were appointed : Sewell L. Avery, 
President; Frank O. Wetmore, Treasurer; Leo F. ( Wormser, Secre- 
tary; W. Rufus Abbott, Edward F. Carry, Rufus C. Dawes, Thomas 
E. Donnelley, John V. Farwell, Robert P. Lamont, Charles H. 
Markham, Charles Piez, Theodore W. Robinson, Julius Rosenwald, 
Joseph T. Ryerson, Albert A. Sprague, Robert W. Stewart, Harold 
H. Swift and Charles H. Thorne. 

The Board met on the 16th of September^ 1926 and decided that 
the name of the new institution should be "The Rosenwald In- 
dustrial Museum." The Board wired their decision to Mr. Rosen- 
wald who at s the time was visiting President Coolidge at his summer 
home. Mr. Rosenwald wired back insisting that his name be omit- 
ted from the name of the Museum, to which the Board gave no 
heed. On July 3, 1929, ,a meeting of the board was held at which 
Mr. Rosenwald was present. He repeated his demand that the 
name of the Museum be changed and his own left out. The Board 
complied with his wishes v and announced that the name would be 
"Museum of Science and Industry" but added: "founded by Julius 
Rosenwald," and thus the Museum is now designated. 

While Julius Rosenwald and Leo F. Wormser were ,in Munich, 
studying Das Deutsche Museum, they were invited to attend a 
dinner given in honor of Dr. Oskar von Miller in recognition of 
his splendid achievement. Dr. Franz Luther, then Prime Minister 
of Germany and other celebrities attended the affair. Mr. Rosen- 
wald and Mr. Wormser sat at the speakers' table and as the pro- 
ceedings advanced, Rosenwald whispered to Wormser: "I am going 
to write a check in the name of Dr. von Miller to be used for the 
museum." Wormser feared it might not be tactful just then, but 
Rosenwald replied: "On the contrary, it will show these celebrities 
how much we Americans think of Dr. von Miller." He wrote 
a check for five thousand dollars and presented it. The scientist 
was extremely grateful and the money was used for a library in 
the Museum. 

The Fine Arts Building in Jackson Park is now almost rehabili- 
tated and is acclaimed as the finest example of Greek architecture 
in the world, with the possible exception of the Parthenon at 

295 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Athens. The five million dollars realized on the sale of the bonds 
proved insufficient to complete the structure, and the deficit of two 
million dollars was contributed by Mr. Rosenwald, in addition to 
his initial gift of three million dollars. 

Waldemar Kaempffert was appointed director of the Museum. 
In the autumn of 1928 he was authorized to go abroad to study 
European Museums and their policies. While he visited almost 
all of the European Museums dedicated to science and industry he 
gave most of his attention to the Deutsches Museum at Munich 
where a private office was assigned to him by Dr. von Miller and 
all the facilities necessary for his purpose were furnished him. 

And thus, by Mr. Rosenwald's timely inspiration through the 
medium of his son, William, Chicago becomes the recipient of a 
cultural contribution which will invite the whole country to par- 
take of its riches. 

XXIV 

OUT OF CHAOS CAME ORDER 

Hebrew education has always been a serious problem to the Jews, 
no matter where they abided; but it may be truthfully said that 
the intensity of the problem in this city was greater than in any 
other place. The reason for this is at once apparent when the fact 
becomes known that in the course of seventy-five years three hundred 
and fifty thousand Jews were poured into the corporeal limits of 
this city. There was not sufficient time for the proper adjustment 
in the large community that sprang up mushroom-like in so short 
a time. Institutions were supplied as their need became manifest 
but no steps were taken to introduce innovations or to make im- 
provements, no efforts to progress with the times and make the 
system of Hebrew education a permanent institution equal at least 
to that of the synagogue. The strenuous efforts made in this direc- 
tion by Harris Horwich and his attempts to institute more ad- 
vanced methods of pedagogy in the Talmud Torahs, when the 
century was still young, brought some reforms but these were of 
only a temporary nature. A long period of moral deterioration 

296 



OUT OF CHAOS CAME ORDER 

ensued and in 1923 the feeble system of Hebrew education threat- 
ened to collapse. Dr. Alexander M. Dushkin who had made a 
survey of the conditions, reports as follows: 

"Out of the fifty-one thousand Jewish children of elementary 
school age in the city, less than eleven thousand, or about 21 per 
cent were given Jewish instruction of any kind at any one time. 
Of these, five thousand were taught in the weekday afternoon 
schools, and six thousand in the Sabbath and Sunday schools. The 
provisions made for the education of girls was considerably worse 
than that made for the boys. 

"In the entire city of Chicago there were about seventy-one Jew- 
ish schools, of which about one-half were Talmud Torahs and 
Hebrew schools, but only seven of these were in buildings designed 
as educational institutions. The rest were in vestries of synagogues 
and in remodeled dwellings, a number of them unfit for school- 
room occupation. In 1923 there was not one building which could 
compare creditably with the better type of modern Jewish school 
buildings in other cities. 

"Of the total number of Jewish schools in this city, only eight of 
the weekday afternoon schools, were being aided by the Jewish 
charities in 1923, because of the previous affiliation of these particular 
schools with the Federated Orthodox Jewish Charities. The rest 
of the schools were supported by congregations and by groups of 
philanthropic men and women who raised the necessary funds 
from the community as best they could. . . . 

"Both, the curriculum and the methods of teaching in the Tal- 
mud Torahs were antiquated, stress being laid upon the mechanical 
reading and mechanical translation of the words. In the Hebrew 
schools the general spirit, discipline and methods were better, but 
in many of these institutions too, the work was planless and with- 
out supervision." 

Dr. Alexander M. Dushkin was invited by the Jewish Education 
Committee to come to Chicago and make a survey of Jewish educa- 
tion in this city and the above is the result of his investigation. 

After the amalgamation of the Associated Jewish Charities with 
the Federated Orthodox Jewish Charities, Chicago Jewish leaders 

297 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

turned their attention to the future of American Judaism. They 
awakened to the fact that if Judaism was to survive at all, the 
young generation must be provided with and brought up under 
the influence of Hebrew education and Jewish knowledge. This 
awakening prompted the now united philanthropic forces to ap- 
point an education committee which in turn invited Dr. Dushkin to 
make the survey. On the basis of his report a complete reorganiza- 
tion was effected. The Jewish Education Committee was changed 
into a Board of Jewish Education and Dr. Dushkin was retained 
as Executive Director. In the field of Jewish pedagogy there are 
few to equal him. Besides his innate competence and fitness for 
such work, Dr. Dushkin is especially qualified by reason of his 
thorough training and extensive experience in the various branches 
of pedagogy and education. 

Dr. Dushkin was born in Poland in 1890. He received his B.A. 
degree at City College in New York in 191 1, his M. A. degree at 
Columbia University in New York in 1913 and his Ph.D. from 
the School of Education at Columbia University, in 191 8. From the 
years 1910 to 1918 he spent as teacher, principal and supervisor of 
Hebrew Schools and Sunday Schools while he was also connected 
with the Bureau of Education. He was the head of the Depart- 
ment of Research and Standardization of Jewish Education from 
1915 to 1918. He was made secretary of the American Jewish Re- 
lief Commission to Eastern Europe in 1916, and the list of his 
activities continues embracing every phase of Jewish education. 
He was Editor of the magazine, "Jewish Teacher" from 1916 to 
1918, Field Secretary for the Education Department of the Zionist 
organization of America, 1918 to 1919, Secretary of the Board of 
Education to the Zionist Commission in Jerusalem, Palestine, from 
1919 to 1921, teacher in the Hebrew Seminary in Jerusalem, 1920, 
and Supervisor of Jewish Schools for the government of Palestine 
in 1920-1921. With this kind of a record Dr. Dushkin was well pre- 
pared to cope with the educational problems of Chicago. To gain 
a full comprehension of the enormous task laid out before him 
one must not lose sight of the many difficulties the reorganization 
encountered; difficulties almost insurmountable, in view of the 

298 



OUT OF CHAOS CAME ORDER 

differentiation existing between religious instruction and Jewish 
education, a distinction to which we have previously called atten- 
tion The progress made in the comparatively short space of time 
can be best discerned from an article written by Dr. Dushkin, pub- 
lished in the magazine, "Jewish Education," in January, 1930: 

"A statistical study comparing the educational situation in our 
city as found in 1923, and as it was during the past year (1928) is 
of interest in indicating the changes that took place: 

"In 1923, there were about fifty-one thousand Jewish children of 
school age; eleven thousand of them, or twenty-one per cent, were 
accounted for as receiving Jewish instruction in some form of Jew- 
ish school. During the past year, out of the fifty-four thousand, 
fifteen thousand, or close to twenty-eight per cent were receiving 
instruction in some form of school (including private teaching). 

"In 1923, there were seventy-one schools listed. During the past 
year there were ninety schools ; the increase being due to the organi- 
zation of new congregational schools and also to the organization 
of several schools by the community Board of Jewish Education. 

"In 1923, five thousand children were receiving some form of 
weekday instruction, and six thousand children some form of Sab- 
bath and Sunday school instruction. During the past year about 
seven thousand eight hundred children were receiving some form 
of weekday instruction, and seven thousand two hundred Sabbath 
and Sunday school instruction. 

"In 1923, about two hundred students were receiving secondary 
and higher instruction in the Beth Midrash L'Torah. Now over 
seven hundred and fifty are being taught in the secondary schools 
of the community, namely: two hundred men and women in the 
various courses of the College of Jewish Studies, one hundred and 
fifty pupils in the two branches of the Central Hebrew High School 
and about four hundred in the Yeshivah of the Rabbinic course of 
the Beth Midrash L'Torah." 

Dr. Dushkin continues to enumerate the achievements brought 
about by the reorganization of the Hebrew educational system. 
He points out the vast increase in the amounts of money now ex- 
pended on Jewish education. He mentions the founding of two 

299 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Hebrew High schools and a College for Hebrew studies, the latter 
now affiliated with the University of Chicago.. All of these are 
great accomplishments indeed. And yet, Dr. Dushkin is far from 
being contented with the results; his program embraces a good 
many more innovations and improvements which when realized 
will make Chicago a true center of Jewish learning and Jewish 
education. 

XXV 

JUDICUM 

To the judiciary in the various tribunals in this city, this State and 
the United States, Jewish Chicago has contributed out of proportion 
to its numbers. With very few exceptions these judges have done 
honor to themselves and to the community they represented. In 
another place in these pages I had occasion to speak of four eminent 
jurists: Samuel Alschuler, Julian W. Mack, Joseph Sabath and 
Harry M. Fisher. I shall devote the next few pages to a review of 
other Jews who graced the bench of municipal and state courts. 

The first Chicago Jew to whom judicial honors were given was 
Philip Stein. He was elected to the Superior Court of Cook County 
in 1892. Philip Stein, the son of Israel and Rosette (Koppel) Stein, 
was born in Steele, Rhenish Prussia, on March 12, 1844. He was 
brought to the United States as an infant and after receiving a 
preliminary education in grade school and high school, he entered 
the University of Wisconsin where he received his A. M. degree. 
He then went to Europe and spent two years in the Universities of 
Heidelberg, Bonn and Berlin, where he continued to study juris- 
prudence, history and political science. Shortly after his return 
to Chicago he was admitted to the bar and he commenced to prac- 
tice law. With his brother-in-law, Adolf Kraus, he organized the 
law firm which included Levy Mayer as one of its partners. Philip 
Stein more than justified the honor awarded him by his election to 
the Superior Court for his reputation as a great jurist with a fine 
legal mind and a regard for his position was at once made evident. 
The most intricate and complicated matters that came to the Su- 

300 



fUDICUM 

perior Court were assigned to him. (The system of assignment 
then was different from the one now in vogue). In 1898, his first 
term expired and he was re-elected for another term of six years. 
Following his re-election, the Supreme Court of Illinois assigned 
him to the Appellate branch and he became a most useful member 
of that court. On his retirement from the bench he returned to 
private practice and continued in that field until his death, De- 
cember 24, 1922, having served his community to his utmost until 

the end. 

# # # # . # 

In the city of Chicago, on January 20, 1870, Cecelie (Oesterreicher) 
Pam bore to her husband Alexander, a son. The child was named 
Hugo and a career began that was destined to make the name, 
Hugo Pam, great in many ways. He attended the public schools 
of this city, the West Division High school and later the Univer- 
sity of Michigan where he received the degree Bachelor of Philoso- 
phy, in 1892. In 1893 he was admitted to the Bar and became a 
member of the law firm: Moses, Pam and Kennedy of which his 
older brother, Max Pam, was also a partner. This firm ranked 
among the most prominent in the city, and Max Pam enjoyed the 
reputation of being one of the most brilliant lawyers at the Chicago 
Bar. 

Hugo Pam possessed a tremendous amount of superflous energy 
for which he was always seeking an outlet. His social and business 
associations were not exclusively Jewish, but race-consciousness was 
being borne in upon him to such an extent that it was becoming 
all absorbing. 

Through his close association and friendship with Nathan D. 
Kaplan, in their efforts on behalf of the Jewish Agricultural Aid 
Society, Hugo Pam became acquainted with Zionism in the year 
1908. Its romantic aspect appealed to him, but he was still hesitant 
and not quite ready to subscribe to all its tenets. Not until 1912 
did Hugo Pam join the Zionist Organization but when once he 
joined, Zionism became a part of him. At last he found an outlet 
for his surplus energy. His eloquence, oratorical powers and legal 
mind made him an outstanding personality at Zionist gatherings. 

301 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

In November, 191 1, he was elected judge of the Superior court; 
three times he was re-elected, serving in a judicial capacity for al- 
most twenty years. His judicial duties did not, however, interfere 
with his Jewish activities for he continued with unabated enthusiasm 
to expend his efforts towards the rebuilding of a Jewish homeland 
in Palestine. His judicial position even enhanced his enthusiasm, 
for he realized that through it he was able to exercise greater in- 
fluence over his fellow Jews. Judge Pam was a member of many 
non-Jewish organizations of a cultural character. Honors were 
showered upon him and he was held in high esteem by the non- 
Jewish members, but his warmest zeal and most earnest favor he 
gave to the many Jewish causes in which he was interested. It 
was not strange that Judge Pam should become a national figure 
in American Jewish affairs. Almost unknown in the Eastern part 
of the country, he journeyed to Philadelphia in 1916 to attend a 
preliminary conference of the Jewish Congress. The organization 
of the conference was almost a hopeless task, because each delega- 
tion was divided into several factions with interests diametrically 
opposed to the interests of all the others. To create something 
tangible, something concrete and workable out of that chaos re- 
quired a man with a character of steel, one with the wisdom of 
King Solomon, the eloquence of Demosthenes and the statesman- 
ship and tact of Lord Chesterfield. I do not mean to exaggerate 
and it is not my intention to convey the impression that I claim all 
these qualities for Judge Hugo Pam, but the strange thing hap- 
pened. Judge Pam made some remarks on a question of order; 
each group recognized the speaker as a man who would be in 
sympathy with its particular point of view; and so out of all the 
great statesmen of the East who participated in the conclave and 
who coveted the chairmanship, Judge Pam was elected chairman 
of the conference and throughout the session demonstrated his 
genius for leadership. An editorial in the Chicago "Sentinel" on 
March 31, 1916, says in part: "Next to the distinction enjoyed by 
Mr. Brandeis and the spontaneous tribute to Dr. Wise at Phila- 
delphia, was the appreciation shown by the Philadelphia conference 
of the parliamentary skill of Judge Pam who occupied the respon- 

302 



JUDICUM 

sible position of permanent Chairman of the Conference. As the 
proceedings continued, the appreciation increased and found ex- 
pression when the conference was about to adjourn, in a hearty 
tribute to Judge Pam by Jacob de Haas. . . . Previous to the assemb- 
ling of the Conference, Judge Pam was an unknown factor to the 
Eastern delegates. All who remembered the vital part he played 
in the Chicago Convention, knew he would acquit himself bril- 
liantly, and Judge Pam fulfilled the brightest expectations of his 
admirers by his masterly work at Philadelphia. The Judge won 
not only a deserved personal tribute and an assured place as a leader 
in American Jewry which his splendid work for the Congress- 
cause has earned for him, but respect for the Jews of Chicago and 
the Middle West " 

Judge Pam's activities were not confined to the Jewish Congress 
alone nor even to Jewish problems alone. As a Jurist he stood out 
prominently and although he conveyed an appearance of sternness 
and frigidity he really donned those traits to cover a warmly sympa- 
thetic nature which insured that his justice was always tempered 
with mercy. He was a student of the philosophy of jurisprudence 
and he contributed much to the science of law. It is difficult to 
enumerate the many interests that were his and the many cultural 
movements in which he distinguished himself, but for my own 
purpose I must confine myself primarily to Judge Hugo Pam, the 
Jew, his contributions to Jewish culture and the efforts he made to 
raise the status of the Jews in the estimation of the non-Jews. He 
never missed an opportunity to speak in behalf of his fellow Jews. 
He was a member of the Provisional National Committee of which 
Justice Louis D. Brandeis was the chairman, and was also a member 
of the International Zionist Organization which functioned during 
the war. He was the local chairman of the first Palestine Restora- 
tion Fund and under his leadership great sums of money were 
collected. 

Judge Pam's personality differed greatly from that of his brother 
Max; so great a contrast between two brothers is rarely found. 
Max Pam was primarily the lawyer, the great legal mind, the logi- 
cian and the reasoner; he was regarded as one of America's ablest 

303 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

advocates. He was a man not without high ideals, but he was 
strictly and sternly practical; all sentiment was relegated to the 
corners of his soul. Judge Hugo Pam was sentimental, romantic 
and a dreamer and these qualities were balanced by his ability as 
a lawyer, big brilliant mind and his erudition. He was a Zionist 
not with his lips alone; his heart and mind were also engaged for 
the cause. He induced his brother Max to contribute the sum of 
fifty thousand dollars to Palestine and spent a considerable amount 
of his own money for the homeland. He was greatly interested 
in the Jewish People's Institute from its very inception. He con- 
ducted there a class in medieval history and with Bertha Loeb 
Lang organized the Player's Club. Judge Pam sponsored every 
cause whose aim was social improvement and the advancement 
of human development. 

3^ ^F ^F ^r ^^ 

Another outstanding Judge of the Superior court is Joseph B. 
David. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, October 27, 1863, 
the son of Theobald and Adelaide David. He was educated in the 
schools in the state of his birth, at the age of eighteen he came to 
Chicago and engaged as a clerk in the banking house of Felsenthal 
and Kozminsky. Two years later he went into the law office of 
Philip Stein where he entered upon the study of the legal pro- 
fession. In 1885 he was admitted to the Bar and formed the part- 
nership known as David, Smulski and McGaffney. David belongs 
to the old type of lawyers which existed before specialization came 
in vogue. He enjoyed a large practice of a varied kind, in law, 
equity and criminal law and had to prepare and plead every case 
himself. Such a method, old fashioned though it was, gave him 
a vast experience, which, added to his keen mind, aggressive char- 
acter and independent individuality, motivated by a high regard 
for justice, result in Judge David, the ideal judge. His aggressive- 
ness has often brought him into hotly disputed contests and he has 
been called erratic, but his eccentricity is that of a highly colorful 
personality that might have distinguished itself even further if he 
had followed the inclination of his youth for the drama. Off the 
bench, he is hail-fellow-well-met in manner which forms an in- 

304 



JUDICUM 

teresting contrast with the uncompromising dignity he assumes 
with his judicial robes, a dignity which he wears to protect the 
honesty of his convictions from any assault by bias or patronage 
towards his friends. Judge David is interested in many Jewish 
movements and particularly in Zionism to which he has contrib- 
uted much of his time and labor. 

* • * # # 

Henry Horner has been Judge of the Probate Court of Cook 
County since 1914. He was born in Chicago, November 30, 1878. He 
was educated in the public schools, the Chicago Manual Training 
School, the University of Michigan and he completed his law studies 
at the University of Chicago. After he was admitted to the Bar he 
formed the partnership of Horner and Whitman, which lasted until 
he was elected Judge of the Probate Court. Litigations in the Probate 
Court involve such great sums of money that it takes cool, clear- 
reasoning judgment to deal with them. It is an accepted fact that 
no Court in the United States deals with and disposes of as much 
wealth as does the Probate Court of Cook County. It is estimated 
that the entire wealth of the county passes through that channel on 
an average of once every fifteen years. Judge Horner distinguished 
himself from among his predecessors by his -administrative ability. 
His care of the funds belonging to widows and orphans had no 
parallel in the history of the Probate Court of this county. 

Judge Horner has taken an active interest in Jewish matters, be- 
ginning with his activities in the "Young men's Jewish Charities" 
in which organization he functioned as president long before he 
was elected Judge. He has been a member of the Board of the 
Jewish Aid Society, a member of the Board of the Michael Reese 
Hospital, chairman of the Board governing the Unemployment 
Fund of the Garment Worker's Union, a member of the Arbitra- 
tion Board of the same Union, a member of the Board of the 
Dispensary, a member of the Board of Governors of the Menorah 
Society, an honorary member of the Jewish Greek letter fraternity 
Zeta Beta Tau and a member of the Jewish Agency. A compre- 
hensive list eloquent of the diversity of his interests. 



305 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

An exceedingly likable Judge on the bench of the Circuit Court 
is Hugo M. Friend. Unlike most of the Jewish Judges he avoids 
all Jewish disputes and controversies; he refuses to become involved 
in any issue wherein Jewish opinion is divided. He is profoundly 
interested in all things concerning his people and never fails to 
take part in general movements. He is one of the most amiable 
men on the bench and is admired by members of the Bar and the 
public alike. 

Judge Hugo M. Friend was born in Prague, Bohemia, July 21, 
1882, the son of Marcus and Emilie (Straschnow) Friend. Two 
years later his parents brought him to Chicago. He attended the 
grade schools and high school of this city and received his Ph.B. 
degree from the University of Chicago in 1908. On receiving his 
degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence he was admitted to the Bar and 
engaged in the practice of law. In 1916 he was appointed Master 
in Chancery, which appointment he held until 1921 when he was 
elected Judge of the Circuit Court. 

# # # # # 

Judge Michael Feinberg, of the Circuit Court, has been on the 
bench for the past five years. Although Chicago Jews are proud 
to claim an able lawyer who possesses a fine judicial temperament, 
and one who has proven himself an excellent judge, yet we can 
assign but little space to him here, for Judge Feinberg has never 
identified himself with Jewish affairs. 

Judge Martin Isaacs reminds one of the tragic fate of the mountain 
climber, so aptly described by the South African poet: all his life 
he tried to scale the heights of the mountain in quest of a beautiful 
bird whose shimmer passed for a moment across his vision. When 
at last he reached his goal he was so wearied from his climb that 
he lay down and found eternal rest. For many years Martin Isaacs 
nursed the ambition of becoming a judge. He was fully qualified 
intellectually, morally and temperamentally. The Democratic 
Party recognized his claim and on a number of occasions gave him 
the nomination, but he failed in the election. In the fall of 1929 
Martin Isaacs was elected Judge of the Circuit Court. He enjoyed 

306 



JUDICUM 

the long sought honor but a short time. He died a few months 
after his election. 

Max Luster was elected to the Municipal court in 1925. He has 
for many years been affiliated with numerous Jewish fraternal or- 
ganizations and has been active in several Jewish movements. He 
is highly esteemed by the members of the Bar. In a hotly contested 
primary he was re-nominated on the Republican ticket, but could 
not withstand the landslide of an election that gave the Democrats 
an overwhelming victory in every branch of the government 

Judge Joseph W. Schulman is now filling his second term on the 
bench of the Municipal Court. 

Judge Samuel Heller, of the Municipal Court presents an in- 
teresting judicial as well as private individuality. He moves about 
quietly and attends to his official duties without ostentation and 
with no effort to attract newspaper publicity, in which respect he 
differs from most of his colleagues. He is a good lawyer and above 
all has those human attributes which makes him always open to 
understanding and sympathy. At the age of forty he is still a 
student and only recently received a Master's degree. He is now en- 
gaged at the University of Chicago in studies which will earn him 
a Ph. D. 

Judge Heller is intensely Jewish. He has a deep knowledge of 
Jewish philosophy and an abiding faith in Jewish traditions and 
Jewish culture. His broad sympathies embrace all movements in 
Jewish life and therefore he is not identified with anyone in par- 
ticular. He was born in Kolo, in the province of Kalisch, Poland, 
April, 1889. He attended Cheder, public school and the Yeshivah 
in his native town. He came to the United States in 1900 and lived 
with his parents in a small town in Wisconsin. He came to Chicago 
in 1904 where he completed his elementary studies and in 1913 
received the degree Ph. B. from the University of Chicago. In 
1914 Northwestern University conferred on him the degree LL. B. 
For some time he taught history and mathematics in high school. 
He was elected Judge of the Municipal Court in 1926. 

Leon Edelman and Jay Schiller were elected Judges to the Muni- 
ciple Court in November, 1930, and therefore both are still com- 

307 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

paratively unproven as to their judicial ability. Prior to his election, 
Leon Edelman served as an assistant Judge of the Probate Court 
and acquired considerable experience in a semi-judicial capacity. 
Jay Schiller obtained his experience as an assistant corporation 
counsel. Both are possessed of the qualities necessary to assure their 
making wise and just Judges. 

XXVI 

A STEPPING STONE TO HIGHER HONORS 

Every judge of the Circuit and Superior courts in the State of Illi- 
nois has the right to appoint a master in chancery whose duties are 
confined to cases in equity which the judge assigns him. He exam- 
ines the evidence in the case, documentary as well as oral testimony, 
makes his own findings and reports them to the judge, who may 
either approve or overrule the Master's report. In a large measure, 
the master acts in a judicial capacity and his position has always 
been looked upon as a stepping stone for judicial honors. 

Up to the last decade of the nineteenth century we find no Jews 
holding the office of Master in Chancery. Judge Philip Stein, of the 
Superior court, was the first judge to confer this honor on a Jew 
and the late Israel Cowen was chosen by him for the honor. 
Although Mr. Cowen filled the office with remarkable ability, his 
ambition to be elected to the bench was never realized. 

When Julian W. Mack was elected judge of the Circuit Court of 
Cook County, he too was eager to place a Jewish lawyer in the 
office of Master in Chancery but fearing that he might arouse preju- 
dice among the non-Jewish members of the bar if the appointment 
came from him, he arranged with a colleague, Judge Walker, that 
the latter appoint Sigmund Zeisler, Judge Mack's candidate, and 
Judge Mack in turn would appoint Judge Walker's candidate. 
Today out of the fifty Masters in Chancery twenty-five percent are 
Jewish. 

The dean of the Jewish Masters is Sidney Pollack; he has served 
in that capacity for almost twenty years and has distinguished him- 
self with his legal ability and judicial temperament. As judges come 

308 



A STEPPING STONE TO HIGHER HONORS 

and go Sidney Pollack remains a Master in Chancery apparently 
for as long a time as he desires. His personal life is intensely Jewish 
and he is extremely proud of his heritage. This pride is not a passive 
one but manifests itself in his interest in all things of a Jewish 
character. 

The second in length of service is Fred Bernstein. He was ap- 
pointed Master in Chancery about sixteen years ago by Judge Joseph 
David, of the Superior Court, and has made for himself an enviable 
name and reputation. He is one of the most able men in that branch 
of the judiciary. He has a fine Jewish background. His mother 
stands out as an example of orthodox Jewish womanhood. She is 
a pioneer in the field of charity and philanthropy and a tireless 
worker in all movements that stand for the uplifting of humanity 
and of her own people. She came to Chicago at an early age in 
her own life and in the life of the growing city. In the more than 
half century of her splendid activities, her kindness, modesty and 
high ideals have been a blessing and inspiration to two generations. 
Her son inherited many of her virtues and followed her example in 
religious and social life. Perhaps his most noteworthy service to 
American Judaism has been his deep interest in the Hillel Founda- 
tion. He has been the chairman of this institution in the sixth dis- 
trict of the B'nai B'rith for several terms and has contributed 
greatly to the effectiveness of the organization. 

Max M. Korshak began his career in communal work together 
with Judge Harry M. Fisher and S. J. Rosenblatt; he came to join 
them as a dreamer and Utopian and his youthful enthusiasm for 
high ideals and lofty purposes was a refreshing element that chimed 
in perfect harmony with the ready wit and humor of Rosenblatt and 
the practical analytical mind of Harry Fisher. The three were the 
founders of many institutions and worked together in many wel- 
fare movements. They became known among the Jews of Chicago 
as the "Trinity." When Harry Fisher was elected to the Judgeship 
of the Circuit court, he could think of no more loyal and capable a 
person for the appointment of Master in Chancery than Max M. 
Korshak. Nor was he mistaken in his selection. In the eleven years 
Korshak has been Master in Chancery he displayed qualities not 

309 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

often found in a dreamer and Utopian and displayed a capacity for 
logical reasoning and cool judgment. He is still active in social 
and philanthropic movements. It is only a question of time before 
he will reach the "higher honors," for he is of the timber from 
which judges are made. 

Alderman Jacob Arvey reflects the spirit of his progenitors, who 
played no small part in the building of the Chicago Jewish commu- 
nity. The Perlsteins, from whom he descends, have been active 
factors in the progress of the West side Jewish community for more 
than half a century, and Alderman Arvey took up the traditional 
thread of the family and continued the work. For the past ten years, 
as a member and leader of the city Council, his voice has always 
been heard in behalf of the poor and oppressed and in the cause of 
justice and righteousness. A conscious Jew with strong national 
tendencies, he is an enthusiastic defender of all Jewish causes and a 
champion not only for the constituents of his ward but for all the 
Jews of the city. Having been reared under the influence of Jewish 
traditions, he was instilled with the principle that charity is sacred 
and he responds accordingly to the needs of his fellow-man. 

Jacob M. Arvey was born in Chicago on November 3, 1895. After 
he was admitted to the bar he began his activities in public life as 
an organizer of the Young Men's Hebrew Association. In 1923, he 
was elected Alderman and was reelected successively. In 1929, he 
was appointed Master in Chancery of the Circuit court, which is 
only the first step to greater honors and higher promotions for this 
capable and energetic young man. 

Archie H. Cohen was born in Philadelphia, October 16, 1889. His 
parents, Morris and Minnie Cohen, moved to Chicago when he was 
still a child. In 1915 he graduated from the John Marshall Law 
School with a degree of LL.B. and was soon afterward admitted 
to the bar. Six years ago he was appointed Master in Chancery. 
Besides the efficient work he has been doing in that office, he still 
finds ample time to participate in the many activities in which he is 
interested. He is past president of the "Young Men's Jewish Chari- 
ties," past president of the Ramah lodge of the B'nai B'rith, director 

310 



A STEPPING STONE TO HIGHER HONORS 

of Temple Judae, president of the Elks' lodge and Professor of Law 
at Loyola University. 

Samuel C. Horwitz was born December 27, 1897, in the city of 
New York. He came to Chicago with his parents when he was 
thirteen years old. He attended the Chicago high schools and en- 
tered the Marshall Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 
1919. In 193 1 he was appointed Master in Chancery of the Supe- 
rior court. He is active in Jewish clubs and a member of Temple 
Sholem. 

One of the youngest of the Masters in Chancery is Harold L. 
Levy, the son of Robert Levy, who for many years has been active 
in Republican politics and who for a time was United States Mar- 
shal of this judicial district. Harold was born March 5, 1901, in 
Chicago. He attended the public schools and then a Military Acad- 
emy in Alton, Illinois. He studied law at the University of Michi- 
gan and Kent College of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1923. 
Soon after his admission to the bar he was appointed assistant State's 
Attorney and served in that capacity for five and a half years, after 
which he was appointed Master in Chancery. Alert and active, with 
a strong political influence back of him, it is difficult to forecast to 
what heights he may rise. 

Benjamin E. Cohen and Benjamin F. Epstein have been valuable 
adjuncts to the Chancery Courts, and are regarded among the law- 
yers of the country as keen legal minds and able Masters. 

Julius Miner, a resident of the Lawndale district, has been active 
in all the important charitable and philanthropic institutions in that 
part of the city. His work as Master in Chancery has been highly 
praised by his associates and members of the legal profession. 

Harry Smitz is a native of Chicago. He attended school and Col- 
lege here and then entered upon the practice of law with his Uncle, 
Senator Adolph Marks. He is an active member of Sinai Temple 
and the Sinai Men's Club. As Master in Chancery he is rated among 
the highest and enjoys a splendid reputation. 

William S. Newberger is an old resident of Chicago and an old 
practicing lawyer. His main interest has been in fraternal organi- 
zations as a leader in the Free Sons of Israel, in the B'nai B'rith 

311 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

and many others. His record as Master in Chancery for the past 
ten years has been entirely satisfactory. 

Isidore Brown has been Master in Chancery for the past six years. 
He is active in politics on the North-west side of this city and on one 
or two occasions was named a candidate for judge on the Demo- 
cratic ticket, but as yet he has not been successful in attaining that 
ambition. 

XXVII 

JEWS IN THE PUBLIC EYE 

Ever since Chicago was incorporated as a municipality, Jews have 
occupied public office, and with only a few rare exceptions their 
records left no doubt as to the integrity and capability of Jews in 
public service. An inherent ability together with personal pride 
and an innate desire to serve his fellow-men came to distinguish 
the Jew in public office. In the early stages of the development of 
the Jewish community, the Jews who were honored with appoint- 
ments or elections to municipal, county or state offices were mostly 
of German descent, but when the emigrants from Eastern Europe 
poured into this country in ever-increasing hordes, they became 
by reason of their numbers a new power. When they began to 
participate in the political organism in this country they gained 
proportionate recognition in the two major political parties and 
eventually received representation according to their numerical 
strength. 

It would be almost impossible to name all the Chicago Jews who 
have held public office since my residence here, but I shall attempt 
to give a representative list. In 1893, the first Jewish Congressman 
from Chicago, Julius Goldzier, was elected to office, but as Goldzier 
had no affiliations with any Jewish institution or movement, he was 
known as a German rather than as a Jew. The second Jew to occupy 
the exalted position of representative to the United States Congress 
was Martin Emerich. Immediately prior to his election to Congress, 
in 1903, Martin Emerich finished his first term as County Com- 
missioner with a splendid record. The Judaism of Congressman 

312 



JEWS IN THE PUBLIC EYE 

Emerich was entirely different from that of Goldzier, in that his 
actions at all times identified him with his people. He gave un- 
stintingly of his time to help the underprivileged and persecuted 
of his race and took a prominent part in the development of the 
Jewish community of Chicago. He was born in Baltimore, Md., 
April 27, 1846. When he grew to manhood he engaged in the 
importing business. Early in life he evinced an interest in civics 
and politics. His first public office was that of Ward Commissioner 
of the Poor. In 1880 he was elected a member of the Maryland 
State Legislature and later was appointed a member of the Gov- 
ernor's staff, with the rank of Colonel. 

In 1887 Colonel Martin Emerich took up his residence in Chi- 
cago. He immediately threw himself into Jewish activities. He 
drew no distinction between Reform and Orthodox movements 
but gave his valuable services to all who could use them, and thus 
became a potent factor in Jewish affairs, until his death in 1922. 

The third Jewish Congressman is Adolph J. Sabath, who was 
elected to the House of Congress in 1907 and was repeatedly re- 
elected to that office which he still occupies. 

In 1914, Ira Nelson Morris was appointed Minister to Sweden. 
During the six years he filled that position he distinguished him- 
self by his ability and dignity. Herbert Mayer, another Jew, was 
appointed Secretary to the American Embassy to the Balkan States, 
in 1917. In 1921 Albert D. Lasker was appointed to head the United 
States Shipping Board and at the same time Elmer Schlesinger was 
appointed its general counsel, positions which they both filled with 
great distinction until their retirement in the summer of 1923. A 
less exalted position but of great importance and responsibility was 
that of United States Referee in Bankruptcy, held by Henry G. 
Greenebaum from 1 905-191 1. Of the two Judges on the Federal 
bench, Julian W. Mack and Samuel Alschuler, I have already writ- 
ten elsewhere in these pages. Robert R. Levy was appointed United 
States Marshal and held the office for several years. In the office 
of the United States District Attorney I can recall the splendid 
service of two young men, Benjamin Epstein and Joseph J. 
Merensky. State Senators from Chicago included the names of 

313 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Moses Solomon, Samuel Ettelson, and Adolph Marks, while the 
roll of representatives to the State Legislature from Chicago, since 
1887 contained Solomon Van Praag, Benjamin M. Mitchell, Sol L. 
Lowenthal, Isidor Plotke, Simon Schaefer, Joseph Schwab, Jacob 
S. Edelstein, Hamil L. Spiegel, Benjamin F. Greenebaum, Sigmund 
S. Jones, Abel Davis, Aaron Norden, Emanuel M. Abrahams, 
Charles Lederer, Joseph Straus, Emil N. Zola, Isaac S. Rothschild, 
Jacob W. Epstein, Dr. George U. Lipschulch, Solomon P. Roderick, 
Sidney Lyon, Samuel E. Weinshenker and Ben W. Alpiner, certain- 
ly an imposing list of Jewish names. Henry Greenebaum, Sol Simon 
and Louis D. Hirscheimer have served as members of the State 
Board of Equalization. 

At diverse periods, William Loeffler, Abel Davis, Max Levitan, 
H. H. Kohn, Adolph Marks and Morris Eller, were elected State 
Central Committeemen. In fact, there is hardly a branch in the 
government of the city, county or state that has not been occupied 
by a Jew. 

In 1919, the Illinois Legislature passed a resolution, directing the 
State Secretary to issue a call for a constitutional convention. It 
was deemed by many that the constitution of the State of Illinois 
was no longer adequate. An election was called in every legislative 
district throughout the state to elect representatives whose task it 
would be to frame a new constitution. Four well-known members 
of the Jewish community were elected delegates to the constitutional 
convention: Abel Davis, Levy Mayer, Samuel E. Pincus and Michael 
Rosenberg. It is merely a detail that when the constitution was 
submitted to the voters of the State, they preferred the old one and 
the new constitution was defeated. 

The following have been elected at various times as county com- 
missioners: Ira Manheimer, Martin Emerich, David Kallis, John 
Ritter, Morris Rosenfeld, Henry Forman, Max Blumenfeld and 
Dr. George Sultan. Harry A. Lipsky held the chairmanship of the 
first County Civil Service Commission. Abram J. Harris was 
elected Clerk of the Criminal Court and Max Wolf, formerly a 
Justice of the Peace, was appointed by Harris as his chief deputy. 
David M. Pfaelzer was elected County Assessor, but died while in 

314 



JEWS IN THE PUBLIC EYE 

office. Isaac Horner, Philip Jackson, Julius Goldzier, William 
Loeffler, Louis I. Epstein, Nathan T. Brenner, A. J. Ballenberg, 
Milton J. Foreman, Joseph Straus, Nathan M. Plotke, Abram J. 
Harris, Emanuel M. Abrahams, Si Mayer, Jacob Lindheimer, Na- 
thaniel A. Stern, U. S. Schwartz, Jacob M. Arvey and Leonard J. 
Grossman have been members of the City Council and William 
Loffler has been City Clerk. Bernard Horwich and Harry A. 
Lipsky were appointed Election Commissioners; Adolf Kraus, 
Julian W. Mack and Joseph Errant were City Civil Service Com- 
missioners. Both Adolf Kraus and Samuel Ettelson have been 
honored with appointments as Corporation Counsel, the former 
for a term of two years, the latter for the past twelve years. This 
position is the highest within the gift of the Mayor for in his 
absence the Corporation Counsel usually acts as mayor. Inasmuch 
as my readers have already been made acquainted with Mr. Adolf 
Kraus, his life and contributions to humanity and the Jewish people, 
I shall go on to a brief biography of the recently retired corporation 
counsel, Samuel A. Ettelson. He was born in Chicago on Novem- 
ber 19, 1874, into a family noted for its Talmudic learning. He re- 
ceived his preparatory education in the schools of this city and then 
entered Harvard College. After completing an Academic course, 
he took up the study of law at Lake Forest University. In 1897 ne 
obtained his LL. B. degree and in the spring of that year was ad- 
mitted to the Illinois Bar. For a period of sixteen years, without 
interruption, he served his district as State Senator. In 191 5 he 
was appointed by Mayor Thompson to the office of Corporation 
Counsel. With the exception of an interval of four years during 
which time Mayor Dever presided over the destinies of this city, 
Samuel A. Ettelson has held the same office. To political observers, 
there is something in his career which is rather remarkable. The 
twelve years of Mayor Thompson's administration were filled with 
scandal, which attached to everyone closely allied with the adminis- 
tration. It is a well-known fact that Samuel A. Ettelson was much 
more to the administration than merely its corporation counsel; 
he was known to be the whole brains of the administration and 
yet, no newspaper at anytime attacked his integrity or insinuated 

315 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the slightest innuendo derogatory to his reputation. He stands to- 
day as unsullied and unblemished as when he first entered into 
the city's service. And whatever might be the explanation for this 
immunity we are nevertheless grateful for it, for although Samuel 
A. Ettelson has never participated in Jewish affairs and stands 
aloof from all things Jewish, yet he is a Jew and an important one 
whose reputation affects other Jews. 

There have been many Jews in the Corporation Counsel's office 
as assistants; outstanding among them are Leon Hornstein, who 
has been in that office for more than a quarter of a century, and 
Max Korshak who is now Master in Chancery. Samuel E. Pincus 
held the office of City Prosecutor under the Dever administration, 
and William Saltiel has held the same office under the administra- 
tion of William Hale Thompson. He resigned from the office of 
city prosecutor, however, to become the attorney for the Board of 
Education. The following Jews have been members of the Board 
of Education: Rabbi Joseph Stolz, Modie J. Spiegel, Dr. Adolph 
Kohn, Harry A. Lipsky, David M. Pfaelzer, James Rosenthal, Jacob 
M. Loeb, Max Loeb and Dorothy Ginsburg. A number of promi- 
nent Jews have served as Trustees of the Public Library: Adolph 
Moses, Bernard Moos, Dr. Emil G. Hirsch, Jacob Frank, Samuel 
Despres, Julius Stern, Mortimer Frank, Samuel Gessler, and 
Jacob Gartenstein. The members of the South Park Board are 
elected by the Judges of the Circuit Court for a term of six years 
each; Henry G. Greenebaum acted as president of the Board for 
two consecutive terms; and Benjamin Lindheimer is one of its 
present members. The other Park Boards are constituted of mem- 
bers appointed by the Governor, among whom have been Dr. 
Julius Rappeport, Isaac Shapiro, who was secretary of the West 
Park Board and S. J. Rosenblatt, a member of the special park 
commission and also of the North Shore Park Commission. 

* # # # # 

Michael Rosenberg was a successful businessman. He was born 
in Chicago on September 9, 1885 and was educated in Chicago 
public schools. Energetic and likable he applied himself to his 

316 



JEWS IN THE PUBLIC EYE 

father's business and his mind was far removed from politics. He 
joined the Lawndale Club, of which Congressman Sabath and 
Judge Fisher were also members. In a political campaign in which 
Sabath and Fisher were candidates for office, Rosenberg took a 
hand to help his friends. He demonstrated such remarkable skill 
in converting people to his view, such adeptness in planning and 
organizing that his ability was recognized by friends and oppo- 
nents alike, and Michael Rosenberg was forced into politics almost 
against his will. He was elected Democratic Committeeman of 
his ward and somewhat later became a candidate for Trustee of 
the Sanitary Board to which he was elected two terms in succes- 
sion. As a member of the Sanitary District he had considerable 
patronage to distribute. This together with a great capacity for 
friendship and loyalty made him a political power. Much of the 
patronage at his disposal he distributed among his fellow Jews and 
he was responsible for procuring nominations and elections for 
many other Jews. Michael Rosenberg was the type of a man who 
was proud of his Jewishness and at every opportunity that presented 
itself he championed the cause of his people. 

Moe Rosenberg, a younger brother, has become the political heir 
of Michael. He is the Democratic Committeeman of his ward 
and has been following in the footsteps of his departed brother. In 
a comparatively short time he has given proof that he is well fitted 
for political leadership. 

Morris Eller, a ward Committeeman of the Republican party 
was credited with a clean record in his political activities until his 
loyalty to William Hale Thompson and to the city administration 
brought on him the ire of the press, since when he has been the 
subject of many attacks and malignments. Henry Berger began 
his political career as an assistant Corporation Counsel under Maclay 
Hoyne; when the latter was elected States Attorney of Cook 
County, he appointed Berger as his first assistant. Later Henry 
Berger was appointed attorney for the Election Board. In 1928 he 
was nominated and elected a member of the Sanitary Board. A 
short time after his election he met with accidental death. On his 

317 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

way to his office a stone fell from a building in the course of con- 
struction, struck him on the head and killed him instantaneously, 
thus cutting short an active and brilliant career. 

In the States Attorney's office, Moritz Rosenthal, now a resident 
of New York, was the first Jew to hold the office of assistant state's 
attorney about forty years ago. Leon Zolotkoff was appointed an 
assistant by ex-senator Deneen during his first term as States At- 
torney; since then many Jewish Lawyers have been appointed to 
that office, among whom are Harold Levy, Harry Pritzker, Samuel 
A. Hoffman and Hyman B. Ritman. 

Samuel A. Hoffman is now recognized as one of the prominent 
criminal lawyers in Chicago. He has been identified of late with 
a number of sensational trials in the criminal courts of this county. 
He began his career as an active worker in communal affairs and 
particularly in the cause of Zionism. For over twenty years he 
worked untiringly in spreading Zionist propaganda throughout the 
Mid-Western states. Since he has become absorbed in the practice 
of law and politics he seems to have lost interest in Jewish move- 
ments, and Zionism has lost in him an intelligent and able worker. 

H. B. Ritman is of a different type; he began to identify himself 
with Jewish movements after he entered the political field. When 
eighteen years ago, Ritman started out in professional life, he 
came with high ideals and the determination that he was going 
to change the social and economic system of society. As weapons 
for the revolution of which he dreamed, he possessed a charming 
personality and oratorical gifts. His contact with the realities in 
life soon destroyed his dreams and shattered his illusions. Elo- 
quence and oratorical powers are still his but he has since put 
them to other uses. Besides utilizing them in his legal profession 
he has been giving lectures on Jewish historical and biblical 
subjects. 

As secretary to many mayors over a period of thirty years, Abra- 
ham Marienbaum deserves mention here, for in that capacity he 
played an important, although unacclaimed part in the administra- 
tion of the city. 

318 



COOK COUNTY KOSHER KITCHEN 

XXVIII 

COOK COUNTY KOSHER KITCHEN 

I was seated in an automobile speeding along one of the newest 
county highways. It was an early afternoon in July, and a golden 
sun bathed the green meadows in a flood of brilliant rays. As I 
approached my destination which was but a short distance from 
the city limits. I strained my eyes for a glimpse of the portals 
which I anticipated must contain the inscription that Dante found 
on the gates of Hell: "All hopes abandon, ye who enter here." I 
was on my way to visit the Cook County Poor House. 

When I reached the gates that led to the grounds of the institu- 
tion there was not even the faintest suggestion of an atmosphere 
which would make Dante's inscription applicable. On eight hun- 
dred and fifty acres of rolling countryside, with landscaped lawns 
and gardens, the sun made a pattern of light and shadows as it 
filtered warmly through the trees. Clearly this was no "Hekdosh." 

I was ushered into the inner study of Frank Venecek, superin- 
tendent of the institution, and there I spent a pleasant hour as 
we revived old friendships and he told me of his life's work in 
which he is wrapped up completely. He was unexpectedly called 
away just as he was about to conduct me through the buildings, 
and we commenced the tour of inspection under the guidance of 
Frank Scheiner, one of his capable assistants. We traversed literal- 
ly miles of corridors and entered some of the wards which are 
arranged according to the nature of the infirmities and mental 
character of the patients. While Mr. Scheiner explained many in- 
teresting things to my wife who accompanied me on the tour, I 
had ample time to reflect on the part the institution plays in our 
social organism. This institution was supplying many needs; with- 
out it modern society could not get on. What particularly appealed 
to me was the idea that this was not an elemosynary institution; 
by no stretch of imagination could a resident of this place be re- 
garded as a recipient of charity. It was a home for the aged, a 
hospital for the sick and incurable and a sanitarium for the men- 
tally afflicted. Maintained not by philanthropic efforts, but by the 

319 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

county, through the medium of taxes, it is in the true sense of 
the term a public institution, supported by the people and for the 
people. One other thought occurred to me: this institution differed 
from most in that it was governed by a man motivated by human 
ideals and humane principles. 

Frank Venecek has been superintendent of the Cook County 
infirmary for the past ten years. He was first appointed to the 
position by Anton }. Cermak. Mr. Cermak started life as a poor 
boy and worked his way upward step by step. He experienced the 
bitter pangs of poverty and all that goes along with it. When he 
rose to a position that gave him power, as the head of all County 
institutions, he selected, wherever possible, men whom he knew 
to be in sympathy with the particular line of work for which he 
designated them. In the ten years Frank Venecek has been head 
of the Oak Forest Infirmary, the people of Cook County have be- 
come convinced that as president of the Board of County Commis- 
sioners, Anton J. Cermak made no error in this choice. Frank 
Venecek brings to his work a warm compassion for the poor and 
afflicted and he demands the same traits in every man and woman 
who is associated with him. 

As I moved along under the leadership of our guide, the men 
and women spoke to Frank Scheiner with trust and friendship in 
their greetings; he called almost everyone by name. I conversed 
with many of them and with some in their native tongues. They 
seemed cheerful, a fact which attested clearly to their contentment 
with conditions and surroundings. 

Eager as I was to get on to the Kosher department which was 
the main object of my visit. I was fascinated by the general atti- 
tude of the inmates of this remarkable "Home." I reluctantly left 
the main buildings after an all too brief examination and followed 
our guide into the "Kingdom within a Kingdom," the Kosher de- 
partment. It was like entering into another city — a Jewish City. 
They were congregated in groups, gossiping, visiting and discuss- 
ing questions of the day. Some of them sat on benches and read 
the Psalms; others were reading fiction. Whatever physical or men- 
tal afflictions they might have suffered, their state of mind concern- 

320 



COOK COUNTY KOSHER KITCHEN 

ing their present condition seemed one of happiness and content- 
ment. I could think of no other "home," whether private or public, 
religious or non-sectarian, wherein they could have enjoyed more 
freedom and greater comfort than in this Kosher home maintained 
and conducted by Cook County. 

In the absence of Samuel Golden and his wife who were in 
charge of the Jewish inmates, we found Abraham Nelson, the 
treasurer of the organization temporarily in charge. After I was 
shown through the "Milchig," "Fleischig" and "Pesachdig ' depart- 
ments, the kitchens, dishes, food and utensils that had so carefully 
been kept to conform with the dietary laws, I was led to the syna- 
gogue. I have seen many institutional synagogues during my life, 
but seldom have I been so deeply impressed on entering a syna- 
gogue as on this occasion. The usual institutional synagogue is a 
large space surrounded by four walls, a floor below and a roof above. 
All adornments, decorations and ornaments are absent from the 
hall which for obvious reasons must serve in turn as a Catholic 
Church, a Protestant Chapel and a Jewish Synagogue, as well as 
a wrestling and boxing ring and an arena for all purposes. Here 
for the first time I found within an institution a genuine synagogue, 
not very large, it is true, but used for no other purpose but for 
prayer and for the study of Jewish lore. 

Only later did I learn the history of the Kosher section. Samuel 
Palmer was a member of a Chassidic family; his father was wealthy 
and very charitable. On the approach of a feast day, before food 
was prepared for the family, every Jewish soldier in the garrison 
of the town and every Jewish patient in the hospitals was first 
provided with food for the holiday. It was the duty of every adult 
member of the family to participate in these charitable deeds. 
Samuel Palmer came to America and to Chicago in 1912; and at 
once sought for some activity to provide an outlet for the early 
ideals planted in his soul. When the synagogue failed to offer just 
the work he wanted, he joined a "Landsmanschaft" and for a short 
time it held his attentions. 

At one of its meetings a member was reported sick and a com- 
mittee was appointed to visit the sick man. He was a member of 

321 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the committee and the only one to perform his duty. He found 
the man an inmate in the county infirmary, which had but recently 
moved from Dunning to Oak Forest. When he arrived, he began 
to converse with the patient in Yiddish but was cautioned to lower 
his voice to a whisper. The fellow was afraid that it would be 
revealed that he was a Jew. The tragedy of the whole thing, Palmer 
related, was that the appearance of the man was typically that of 
the caricatured stage Jew of the period, with all the latter's char- 
acteristics; and yet he feared to speak Yiddish lest he betray the 
"secret" that he was a Jew! Possibly a frequent victim of Christian 
(or rather unchristian) prejudice, he feared that he would be mo- 
lested by his fellows if the truth were known. 

Palmer was anxious to ascertain how many more Jews were in 
the institution under cover. He found about a dozen in all. He 
saw a possibility of rendering a service to these unfortunates. The 
Passover was close by and Palmer began to plan a Seder for the 
Jewish inmates of Oak Forest. He succeeded in interesting several 
friends in the idea and a purse was made up large enough to de- 
fray the expenses. For the first time in the history of the Cook 
County Poor House, a real Seder was celebrated within its walls. 
The Jewish inmates, far from suffering any molestation by reason 
of discarding the mask under which they sought to hide their 
Jewishness, were on the contrary, accorded a greater respect by the 
other inmates, upon the discovery that people outside the institu- 
tion were displaying an interest in the minority group within its 
walls. During the ensuing summer months, Palmer continued his 
interest in the Jewish residents of Oak Forest. With the approach 
of the high holidays, Mr. Palmer again planned religious services 
for the Jewish inmates who were rapidly increasing in number. 
He obtained the support of M. Ph. Ginzburg, publisher of the 
Daily Jewish Courier, who paid for a "Bal T'filah." One day as 
he was on his way to the office of Peter Reinberg, then President 
of the County Board, to obtain consent to his plans he met an old 
friend, Paul Rissman. The two walked along together and soon 
Palmer was telling Rissman all about his new activities. Rissman 
caught the contagious enthusiasm of his friend and also began to 

322 



COOK COUNTY KOSHER KITCHEN 

take an interest in the Jewish inmates of Oak Forest. He was 
influential and active in the Jewish community of Chicago, Palmer 
was sincere and active and the two blended together in a perfect 
harmony. The first religious services held there encouraged the 
two men to go on still further. 

With the election of Anton J. Cermak with his liberal tenden- 
cies, as President of the County Board, in 1922, the Jewish section 
received a still greater impetus. After the completion of a Kosher 
kitchen and the erection of the place of worship, the leaders were 
confronted with a new problem: the hospital and cottages for the 
tubercular patients were at the extreme end of the group of build- 
ings and on the opposite side from where the Kosher kitchen was 
located. By the time food was carried to the hospital it was cold. 
Besides, these patients required special food at shorter intervals 
than the other inmates; and the only solution to the problem was 
another Kosher Kitchen in the tubercular section. Without much 
ado, the sponsors of the idea collected the necessary sum and the 
kitchen was built. 

Of the total number of four thousand and fifty inmates in the 
infirmary, three hundred and fifty-eight are Jews. The small or- 
ganization in charge of the Kosher section is composed of the 
following officers: Paul Rissman, president; Samuel Palmer, secre- 
tary; Mrs. Sarah Berkovitz, vice president; Charles Gertz, second 
vice president; and Abraham Nelson, treasurer. Elias Towbin and 
Mrs. Benjamin, past officers of the organization have rendered such 
splendid assistance in making the Jewish section of the Oak Forest 
Infirmary a fine Kosher home for poor, sick Jews that their names 
must always be connected with the institution. The Jewish Chari- 
ties of Chicago, as an acknowledgement of the important work 
Oak Forest is doing for the Jewish sick and poor, contributes 

monthly the sum of nine hundred and fifty dollars. 

# # # * # 

Paul Rissman, wellknown communal worker in this city, was 
born in Niezin, a province of ChernigofT, Russia, on June 5, 1875, 
and came to the United States about forty years ago. His father 
was one of the Chassidic school which implies extreme orthodoxy. 

323 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Brought up in such an environment he assimilated the spirit of 
orthodoxy and developed highly sensitive and responsive character- 
istics. Like most youths of his class he struggled hard for an 
economic footing and changed from one occupation to another, 
until he finally engaged in the real estate business, where he 
achieved considerable success. For the past quarter of a century 
he has been one of the pillars of the orthodox community. He has 
contributed much to the growth of Jewish Chicago. In the past 
fifteen years, most of his time has been occupied with that success- 
ful experiment, the Kosher section of the Oak Forest Infirmary. 

XXIX 

THE SECOND ARARAT THAT FAILED 

Since the Jews went into the diaspara, they have awaited the 
coming of a Messiah. In the United States too, Jews have prayed 
to hasten his coming that he might save their brethren throughout 
the world. They are many, those who dream of saving Israel. In 
1820, Mordecai Manuel Noah, a stateman, journalist, dramatist and 
author, and withal a dreamer of the Ghetto, petitioned the state 
legislature of New York for a grant of land on Grand Island, to 
establish a refuge for the persecuted Jews of Europe. 

In 1922 another young man in the city of Chicago entertained a 
similar dream. Paul Rothenberg, (without the appositives after his 
name that described Mordecai Manuel Noah) was another dreamer. 

Paul Rothenberg was born in Berlan, Roumania, forty-seven 
years ago, the son of Ascher and Beila (Saphir) Rothenberg. His 
father was a teacher and the youth received his early training and 
education at the hands of his parent. At the age of fourteen Paul 
came to America and settled in Chicago. Several years later he 
entered the Illinois School of Medicine and graduated from the 
department of Chemistry. In 1917 he graduated from the Webster 
Law School. But he was too vital, too impulsive to devote himself 
seriously to the tedium of a scientific career and he lacked the pa- 
tience to labor at the inconsequential minutiae involved in the 
pursuit of a law practice. He entered politics instead and achieved 

324 






THE SECOND ARARAT THAT FAILED 

a certain amount of success as one of the leaders in the Republican 
party. 

In 1922, the Mexican government, with General Obregon firmly 
established at its head after many stormy revolutions, became eager 
to gain recognition from the United States government, but all 
its efforts failed. It finally adopted the plan of sending a com- 
mission here for the purpose of prevailing on the legislatures of 
the various states to pass resolutions urging the federal government 
to give recognition to the new Mexican state. Illinois was one of 
the first states to which the commission turned its attention. For 
some unknown reason they sought out Paul Rothenberg and 
through his influence succeeded without much difficulty in getting 
the Illinois legislature to adopt the resolution. Other legislatures 
followed its example. This evidence of a preponderance of public 
opinion in favor of recognition, caused the United States to take 
official cognizance of the Mexican Republic. 

Rothenberg had forgotten all about the matter and the part he 
had played in it when one day the head of the commission appeared 
at his home and tactfully offered a considerable sum of money as 
a fee for services rendered to the Mexican Republic. Mr. Rothen- 
berg declared that his part in the affair had been prompted purely 
by altruistic motives, and he firmly declined to accept any monetary 
compensation. The agent took his departure but the affair was not 
ended for some weeks later, the Mexican Minister to Washington 
sent an official communication to Paul Rothenberg informing him 
that on behalf of the President of the Mexican Republic he invited 
him to Mexico to be the guest of the President and his cabinet. 
Rothenberg at first considered the matter as a huge joke, but tele- 
grams, telephone calls and personal calls from Mexican diplomatic 
agents convinced him that it was no joke. He had considered 
spending his winter vacation at San Antonio, Texas, and so he 
promised that while there he would make the trip to Mexico City 
to pay his respects to President Obregon. Arrangements were made 
for a special car to meet him at the border. Rothenberg, disregard- 
ing all the official ceremonies, took a train to Mexico, registered 
at a hotel and spent a few days incognito, visiting the interesting 

325 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

and historical places in the city. On the fourth day of his sojourn, 
he and his wife were seated in the lobby of the hotel, when a great 
commotion outside attracted their attention. Several official cars 
bearing representatives of the president's palace, with military escort 
swooped down on the hotel and made inquiries for him. He pre- 
sented himself to these men in uniform, in a scene which reminded 
him of a comic opera, and was informed of the excitement and 
consternation he had caused by not reporting to the President on 
his arrival. The special car had waited three days at the border 
and finally a search for him was instituted. Mr. and Mrs. Rothen- 
berg and their luggage were immediately gathered up and taken 
to the Palace of the President. The official dinners, parties and 
entertainments which followed left Rothenberg somewhat dazed. 

Shortly after his arrival at the palace he was again offered a 
remuneration. This time it was President Obregon who said : "Now, 
Mr. Rothenberg, there is something we must settle. You have 
rendered a great service to our country and we wish to remain 
indebted to no one; how can we repay you for all you have done 
for us?" The persistent efforts of these people to reward him for 
something which he had done with no thought of recompense made 
him rather uncomfortable. Finally he replied: "All I have in 
the world is my wife, and we are well provided for the remainder 
of our lives; thus, we have no need for money. If you insist on 
doing something perhaps you can make some provision for my 
fellow Jews who are oppressed in all parts of Europe. If you and 
your government could provide at least some of them with a home 
here where they might live in safety and security, I can assure you 
that you would find them a great acquisition to your country, and 
at the same time you would be making the greatest compensation 
to me." The President received this proposal thoughtfully, but did 
not commit himself to its fulfillment without first taking it up with 
his cabinet. However the plan was agreed upon and the details 
were worked out. The President offered a large tract of land in 
the northern part of lower California and promised that in due 
time, as soon as Congress convened he would send him a charter. 
During his trip back to Chicago, Rothenberg formulated plans for 

326 



THE SECOND ARARAT THAT FAILED 

his next move. It is evident that he did not know his people as 
well as Moses did. When God revealed himself to the lawgiver 
through the burning bush and told him to go back to Egypt to 
his enslaved brethren and tell them that the God of Israel sent him 
to them, Moses who knew his "stiff necked" people asked: "And 
if they will not believe me, what shall I say to them?" Rothenberg 
took it for granted that all that was necessary was to get the con- 
sent of the Mexican Government, the rest would be easy. And here 
was the great mistake Rothenberg made. Perhaps if he had gone 
to the leaders of the American Jews, told them of his project and 
placed the rest of the work, in their hands, this chapter might have 
ended differently, and by this time a haven of refuge might have 
been established in Mexico for at least twenty-five thousand Jewish 
families. But Rothenberg was inexperienced. Like his predecessor, 
Mordecai Manuel Noah, he was eager to do something for his 
people, something of a lasting nature, but he was determined to 
accomplish it by himself without the assistance of even those wiser 
and more experienced than himself. 

In May 1922, Paul Rothenberg received a letter over the signa- 
ture of President Obregon and the seal of the State, confirming 
the grant. The letter was written in Spanish which translated, 
read as follows: 

"President of the Republic of Mexico; National Palace, 
May 10, 1922. Mr. Paul Rothenberg, 1630 S. Sawyer Av., 
Chicago, Ills. 

"Dear Brother: 

"Pursuant to our conversation, in regard to the immigra- 
tion of Russian Jews to the Republic of Mexico, I am 
pleased to inform you that the government of which I 
have the honor of being President, will be happy to witness 
the immigration; but I deem it advisable to make it clear 
that if the immigrants are desirous of acquiring real estate 
in the Republic of Mexico, they must become Mexican 
citizens. Our laws provide that no foreigner may acquire 

327 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

real estate within a zone eighty miles parallel to the frontier 
and forty miles to the sea shore. 

"We have in our country several million sectors of land 
that we would yield for colonization purposes. A large por- 
tion of this land is exceptionally suitable for agriculture 
and irrigation. You can be assured that the immigrants 
we have in mind, on complying with our laws governing 
the acquisition of property, will receive the guarantee of 
safety and security that is alloted to all the citizens of the 
Mexican Republic. 

"I took up the matter with Senator Shlaymer, of Arizona, 
during the talk which I had the pleasure of having with 
him in this city, of which he is better able to give you a 
detailed report than is possible by letter. 

"With personal regards I am your devoted Obregon." 

This letter bears conclusive evidence that the Mexican authorities 
meant business. That Paul Rothenberg was sincere and earnest 
in his efforts is also evidenced by the many thousands of dollars 
which he spent on the project. He hired experts and took men 
of knowledge and experience to Lower California to examine the 
prospective settlement. Although the land appeared to all a verita- 
ble paradise, and the experts had nothing but the highest praise 
for that part of the country; the scheme failed. The leaders of 
American Jewry refused to participate in the movement. Some, 
because their entire interest lay in Palestine; others, because of their 
interest in the colonization in Russia, and still others, because of 
jealousy. Some there were who wanted the honor of dealing direct- 
ly with the Mexican government. This President Obregon refused. 
He felt that his country was under obligations to Paul Rothenberg 
alone and since it was Rothenberg who originally made the propo- 
sition, his government would negotiate with no one else. Mean- 
while the enthusiasm of the few cooled and their interest waned 
until eventually the whole thing died of sheer inertia on the part 
of the leaders in American Jewry. Thus, it came to pass that an- 

328 



THE SECOND ARARAT THAT FAILED 

other city of Ararat, in Lower California, Mexico, proved a dismal 
failure. Probably the most disappointed man, besides Paul Rothen- 
berg who was extremely grieved at the failure of his scheme was 
Israel Zangwill, who had manifested his sympathies from its earliest 
beginning. 



329 



PART FOUR 






I 

THE MIGHTIER WEAPON 

THE largest share of credit for shaping and moulding the char- 
acter of the two Jewish Communities of Chicago, the Reform 
and Orthodox, belongs to four men : Doctor Emil G. Hirsch 
who exerted his intellectual powers to elevate the spiritual and cul- 
tural standard of the English speaking Jews; Leon Zolotkoff, Peter 
Wiernick and M. Ph. Ginzburg who directed their efforts to the Yid- 
dish speaking multitudes. All four were valiant fighters who bravely 
championed truth and right and on many occasions proved the old 
proverbial dictum that "The pen is mightier than the sword." 

And yet, it is interesting to note that despite the fact that the 
last named in the group, M. Ph. Ginzburg lays no claim to the art 
of Journalism, still his contribution to the Jewry of this city has 
been outstanding. This silent modest man has given a lifetime 
to the fashioning and modeling of a Jewish community. M. Ph. 
Ginzburg was born December 2, 1862, in the city of Mariampole, 
province of Suvalk, Russia, the son of Samuel and Chaye Etta 
Ginzburg. His father was a wealthy and highly respected mem- 
ber of the community, well known for his integrity and generosity. 
His sound judgment on important matters was sought by many 
men and women. The education which young Moses Philip re- 
ceived was in full accord with his station in life. He was instructed 
in Hebrew, Talmudic lore, Russian and German by private tutors. 
Neither he nor his parents ever contemplated his leaving his native 
soil and migrating to America, until an unforseen incident changed 
the pattern of the young man's life. When Moses Philip approached 
legal age for military service, no one doubted that his father's in- 
fluence with the leading officials of the province would be sufficient 

331 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

to "redeem" him. A short time before the young man was called 
before the draft-board, the chairman of that body who was also 
the chief official of the county (Nachalnik) issued a public state- 
ment which gave offense to the entire Jewish community. Samuel 
Ginzburg, on behalf of his fellow Jews, resented the insult and 
petitioned the governor of the province to remove the offending 
dignitary from Mariampole. Meanwhile the draft-board convened. 
A move was made to transfer the Ginzburg case to another district, 
but through a technical error it failed and the original board took 
jurisdiction and pronounced him a fit and proper subject for military 
service. Efforts to exempt him were not abandoned but in the 
meantime Moses Philip was sent to Germany to await his dis- 
charge. It so happened that just at this time all foreigners living 
in Germany were ordered by an edict of the government to leave 
the country. There was nothing else left for Moses Philip to do 
but to depart either to Palestine or America. He chose the latter 
place and went there to make his home — but only temporarily, for 
men like Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spector, the famous Rabbi of Kovno 
had become interested in his behalf and he, in turn, interested high 
officials of St. Petersburg who endeavored to save him from military 
service. M. Ph. Ginzburg came to Chicago in 1885 and established 
a small printing shop. His first act was to become a member of 
the Dorshe Safruth Ivrith, of which organization he soon became 
secretary. 

When Leon Zolotkoff arrived in the early autumn of 1887 and 
together with Peter Wiernick began to look around for men whom 
they might interest in starting a Yiddish newspaper they found 
M. Ph. Ginzburg and Isador Segal. The four joined forces and the 
new enterprise was started. Not long after Mr. Segal sought to 
dispose of his interest in the Jewish Courier. Mr. Ginzburg bought 
out his share. Mr. Segal's business acumen for the immediate future 
proved greater than Ginzburg's, but the latter possessed greater 
foresight for the more distant future. For many years the Courier 
played hide and seek with its owner. For a time it was suspended 
entirely; then it went into the hands of Sarasohn and Sons of New 
York, and then again a partnership was formed between the Sara- 

332 



THE MIGHTIER WEAPON 

sohns and Ginzburg; but it finally came back into the possession 
of M. Ph. Ginzburg. 

In the forty years that Mr. Ginzburg was connected with the 
Courier, its columns were always available for any material of 
public interest. Practically every Orthodox institution in Chicago 
owes its existence to the Courier. From the earliest days of modern 
Zionism the Courier has been its staunch supporter. The Auerbach 
case is not the only one into which Mr. Ginzburg poured all his 
energy and for which he risked everything in order to establish 
the truth and thereby remove a stigma from the Jewish community. 

Leon Zolotkoff who was among the first Yiddish journalists in 
America is also widely regarded as one of its most eminent ones. 
The Courier was not the only medium through which he emitted 
the brilliant sparks of his intellect. He was responsible for bringing 
other Yiddish newspapers into being: The Yiddish Tageblatt, Die 
Yiddishe Gazetten vun die West, Der Yiddisher Kol, and the Jew- 
ish Record. Of all these publications he was the first editor. 
Throughout his journalistic career he has pursued a policy which 
is characterised by a strong devotion to Jewish nationalism and 
a tendency to guide his readers towards the higher and finer aspects 
of life. If we are to accept the American standard of journalism, 
Zolotkoff might not be called a journalist. His style is too delicate, 
his imagination too vivid, his humor too subtle, he employes too 
many metaphors, there is too much flourish to his sentences, the 
whole is too finely polished, in short it is much too literary to be 
termed journalism. Zolotkoff is an artist and an idealist. He is no 
"space-filler," he writes only when he has something of importance 
to say, with the result that he produces a composition whose mean- 
ing is unmistakable, definitely complete and incisive. 

Peter Wiernick is somewhat of a paradox. Free from religious 
creeds and dogmas and without any strong political convictions 
he is nevertheless a Jew in every fiber. His style is cold and dis- 
passionate — even phlegmatic. It is much less flexible than Zolot- 
koffs but usually strikes a deeper chord. He has an aptitude for 
popularizing science which he does in a didactic manner. He is 
more the instructor, the pedagogue than the facile belle lettrist. 

333 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Where Zolotkoff appeals to the esthetic, Wiernick appeals to rea- 
son. He meets with greater difficulty in conveying his meaning 
but he laboriously achieves his end. 

In 1895, when Zolotkoff resigned from the editorship of the Cou- 
rier, Wiernick became his successor. Five years later Wiernick left 
for New York and became the editor of The Morning Journal, a 
position which he still occupies with distinction. His editorial opin- 
ions on weighty problems are highly respected in Yiddish journal- 
istic circles the world over and are often quoted in leading publica- 
tions. The journalistic endeavors of Zolotkoff and Wiernick in 
the early history of Chicago left an indelible imprint upon the 
shaping of the Jewish community. 

Others who successfully wielded the "mightier weapon" are J. M. 
Wolfsohn, editor of the Jewish Courier and later of the Record, 
a fluent writer and a lovable personality who a few years ago left 
many friends mourning his loss. I. Zioni was editor of the Courier 
for a short time; Kalmon Marmor was editor of the Record and 
for some time of the Courier ; Dr. Morris Reinhart was editor of the 
Courier and later of the Record. Peter Boyarsky was editor of the 
Courier; Jonah Spivak has had a long journalistic career in Chi- 
cago. He was contributing editor of the Courier, was on the edi- 
torial staff of the Record and for many years has been associated 
with the editorial department of the Jewish Daily Forward. Jacob 
Siegel was also for a long time associated with the Courier and 
for the past ten years has been functioning in various capacities 
on the editorial staff of the Daily Jewish Forward. G. Selekowich 
came from New York to edit a paper, but it was short lived and 
the famous Yiddish journalist returned to New York. Roman G. 
Lewis, an able writer, edited a paper for a short time. The paper 
was suspended but Lewis continued to contribute to other Yiddish 
publications. Natelson, who wrote under the pseudonym of 
"Noven," was the Editor of the Jewish Courier for several years. 

At the helm of the "Daily Jewish Courier" are five men who 
control its destiny: M. Ph. Ginzburg, publisher; Harry A. Lipsky, 
general manager; Leon Zolotkoff and Doctor S. M. Melamed, 
editors-in-chief, and James B. Loebner, managing editor. 

334 



THE MIGHTIER WEAPON 

The history of the labor and socialistic Yiddish press is less com- 
plicated and not so much involved. Its life-line is a straight one. 
The first efforts for a Yiddish socialist paper were made in 1904. 
It began with an editorial staff composed of Morris Seskind, Ben- 
jamin Schlessinger and Isaac Reingold. The paper quietly expired 
two months later. In October, 1905, the Jewish Socialist Press As- 
sociation made another attempt and published a Yiddish weekly, 
with Adolph Littman, William Zuckerman and Morris Seskind con- 
stituting the editorial staff, but it, too, was short lived — only three 
or four issues saw the light of day. In 1908 a stronger and more 
vigorous child was born and christened the "Yiddishe Arbeiter 
Welt." Its editors were in succession: Hillel Rogoff, A. S. Sacks, 
Dr. K. Fornberg and Morris Seskind. In 1917 the Yiddishe Arbeiter 
Welt became a daily and Kalmon Marmor was called to preside 
editorially. The paper continued to flourish under his guidance 
until 1920 when it merged with the "Daily Forward." 

Dr. S. M. Melamed is the most prolific writer of Yiddish journal- 
ists. He writes equally well in German, Hebrew and .English and 
in addition is conversant with French, Russian and Polish. Few 
Jewish writers possess as keen a perception in analyzing Jewish 
problems as he exhibits. Dr. S. M. Melamed was born in Wil- 
kowisk, Lithuania, on December 15, 1885. He received a thorough 
Hebrew education, supplemented by a secular education in the 
leading Gymnasia of Switzerland and the universities of Berne, 
Marburg and Giessen, in Germany and France. While in Europe 
he was a frequent contributor to leading journals and periodicals, 
mostly on subjects of philosophy and history; he also contributed 
to Hebrew magazines. He is the author of several important vol- 
umes among which are "Origin, Philosophy and History of the 
Idea of Peace;" "The State on the Eve of Redemption" and "The 
Psychology of the Jewish Mind." Dr. Melamed came to America 
in 1914 and immediately engaged in journalism, joining the staff 
of the New York Staats Zeitung. During that period he contributed 
much to the Hebrew publications of this country. He was the 
founder and editor of the American Jewish Chronicle of New York. 
In 1920 he came to Chicago to take charge of the editorial depart- 

335 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

ment of the Daily Jewish Courier. For some time he was also 
associate editor of the Abend Post. He edited a scholarly pub- 
lication called "East and West" and is now publisher and editor 
of a monthly magazine called the "Reflex." Dr. Melamed's prin- 
cipal subject of study at the university was Jewish Philosophy. 
Besides majoring in it he made it the subject of his thesis for his 
Doctor's degree and it is a branch in which he ranks higher than 
any other Jewish journalist. He is an ardent Zionist and has given 
a great deal of his time and ability to this cause. 

When speaking of Chicago Jewish journalists and newspaper- 
men, one's mind turns at once to James Bernard Loebner, now 
managing editor of the Daily Jewish Courier. A few years ago 
Loebner celebrated the event of a quarter of a century spent in 
journalism with a banquet to mark the occasion. One of the largest 
ballrooms in a downtown hotel was filled to capacity with men 
and women in all walks of life, of all denominations and of all 
shades of opinion who came to do him honor. The late "Tashrak," 
the finest humorist in American-Yiddish journalism, wrote a tribute 
to Loebner's journalistic career. To review Loebner's journalistic 
activities and his literary ability I can do no better than quote a 
few paragraphs from his tribute. 

"... If this man is now an outstanding popular figure in Yiddish 
Journalism of the Middle West; if his is in very truth an institution 
in his own right; if he is a popular figure in a threefold sense, as 
journalist, publicist and social worker, it is because he has been 
a keen psychological observer, a personality gifted with a sensitive 
taste and capacity for understanding; it is because about him came 
to be concentrated a large measure of communal activities of Jewish 
and to an extent of non-Jewish life in Chicago. He has been an 
influence in communal affairs for good and has aided in the shap- 
ing of communal policies. The Yiddish American press has fought 
its way upward and through the aid of such men as Mr. Loebner 
has in recent years acquired the dignity that was lacking to it in its 
earlier stages. 

"As a journalist, Mr. Loebner has been a very individualistic 
type. Possessing a remarkable intuition, a keen eye, a talent for 

336 



THE MIGHTIER WEAPON 

social contact and for judgment, he has been able to enter into the 
communal doings of the city and to discuss many of its movements, 
thus asserting a wholesome influence on Jewish affairs in the Middle 
West. His vision embraces a large horizon. It pierces to the depths. 
By sheer intuition and by his special sense for the practical, he 
knows instinctively the merits and faults of a proposition; the 
efficiency or non-efficiency of an organization or institution; the 
progress made in a movement or the decline threatening it. His 
word is feared by all who plot iniquity in social doing and as a 
result he is a force for honesty and thoroughness of effort. In 
all his social work he has constantly refused all offers of prestige 
or official reward. He has preferred his objective position which 
enables him to constructively criticize without fear of loss of favor, 
and without the creation of entangling alliances. He has been 
honest and fearless in his work." 

"Jimmie," as Loebner is known among most of his friends, is 
a hail-fellow-well-met sort of person. He has the faculty for making 
friends and keeping them. He writes in a fluent style without 
adornment but full of vitality and pulsating with life. His "Kohl- 
she Bimah," a weekjy feature on the editorial page, a record of 
communal events, has humor, pathos and spirit. It is a kaleido- 
scopic review of the activities of the community in all of their 
realism. He is known by other features done in his own inimitable 
style, such as "Der Yid mit die Nisslach" and "Charlie der Police- 
man." 

Loebner was born in Panciu, Roumania, on September 18, 1883. 
He came to Chicago in 1904 and after attending Le Claire Industrial 
College embarked on a journalistic career. With Leon Zolotkoff 
and H. L. Meites he organized the Jewish Record, a weekly publi- 
cation published by Isaac Shapiro, and served as its editor for 
several years. Later he became the city editor of the Courier and 
he is now managing editor. 

The "Yiddishe Presse" was another Daily newspaper published 
in Chicago. J. Liebling was its managing editor. Mr. Liebling 
came to Chicago in the late eighties and immediately engaged in 
the publishing of a newspaper. At first it was a semi-weekly but 

337 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

it later became a Daily. Early in his career he succeeded in antago- 
nizing the very people whose good will was necessary in order to 
make the paper a success. His unwarranted attack on Zionism and 
Zionists was an unpardonable offense. When his son took over 
the management of the paper its general standing and circulation 
improved at once, but Abe Liebling was too energetic a man to 
waste his time on so small an enterprise. He soon found greater 
opportunities for his talents and left the "Yiddishe Presse" to die a 
natural death. 

II 
WIELDERS OF THE PEN 

The army of writers who wield the pen for the two Chicago Yid- 
dish Dailies, the Courier and the Forwerts, are all well seasoned 
men who display extraordinary skill in all departments. Besides 
Zolotkoft, Melamed and Loebner we find on the editorial staff 
of the Courier, Dr. A. M. Margolin, who for the past twenty-three 
years has demonstrated his ability in every field of journalistic and 
literary endeavor. He abandoned a medical career in order to write. 
He was born in Bobrvisk, government of Minsk, Russia, on May 5, 
1884. He comes of a family where wealth, culture and Jewish 
scholarship abided in close harmony. At the age of sixteen, after 
he completed a general course in Jewish education in a Cheder 
and Yeshivoth, he journeyed to Plotzk, where he made his home 
with a relative, A. J. Papirna, one of the first neo-Hebraic publicists 
and critics. Papirna prepared Margolin for the seventh class Gym- 
nasium. In May, 1905, he graduated with honors. His intentions 
were to enter the University of Warsaw and major in mathematics, 
but the political disturbances of the students at that particular 
period caused him to change his mind and he entered instead the 
medical school of the Berlin University. Four years later he com- 
menced to practice medicine and for two years was House Doctor 
in the clinic of Dr. Schwartz in Karlsbad. 

In 1914 he went to London, England, and for three months was 
connected with a German Hospital there until the outbreak of 

338 






WIELDERS OF THE PEN 

the war. His experiences as a Russian subject residing in England 
are interesting, especially since he was a conscientious objector as a 
matter of principle. His lot was thrown together with men of the 
type of Tchicherin, a political refugee in London, who has since 
become Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Soviet government. In 
1917 Dr. Margolin was arrested on charges of preaching pacifism, 
but a week later was discharged and he emigrated to New York; 
six months after his arrival in New York, in October of the same 
year, he came to Chicago to join the editorial staff of the Courier, 
where he has been ever since. 

Dr. Margolin began his journalistic career in 1903, with con- 
tributions to Hebrew and Russian publications. His first Yiddish 
attempts appeared in the "Warsaw Volkszeitung," in the same 
year. Since then he has contributed to almost every leading Yid- 
dish newspaper and magazine in this country and Europe. He 
translated Henry Bernstein's drama, "Samson," from French into 
Yiddish. He writes well in every branch of journalism and 
literature. He has done essays on social, political, ethical and 
esthetic subjects, humor, poetry and historical sketches, but his 
principal field is criticism and reviews of the drama. In 191 1 he 
married Clara Bleichman, a well-known dramatic actress on the 
Yiddish stage. Besides his daily articles in the Courier and his 
work as Chicago correspondent for the New York "Day," he is 
engaged in gathering material for a history of the Yiddish Theatre 
and I know no writer who is more fit for the task than Doctor 
Margolin. 

*JT TT TT TT W£ 

Solomon Greenblau has been on the Courier staff for the past 
twelve years. He was born in 1876, in a small town in Lithuania. 
He attended Cheder and later graduated from the city Normal 
School of Jacobstadt, Courland. He prepared himself for the Gym- 
nasium and successfully passed the entrance examination but was 
refused admittance because of the "numerous closus." He went 
to Warsaw and became a bookkeeper and later engaged in a busi- 
ness of his own. In 1904 he emigrated to London and there for 
the first time tried his hand at journalism. He worked on several 

339 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

London Yiddish newspapers. In 1909 he came to Chicago and 
began to write for the "Yiddishe Presse," the Daily published by 
Liebling. Shortly afterwards he became City Editor of the "Jew- 
ish Labor World." When that publication merged with the "Jewish 
Forward" Greenblau joined the staff of the "Jewish Courier." He 
writes in an essayistic style and has produced many short stories, 

monographs of historic characters and biographical sketches. 

* * # # # 

Morris Indritz is one of the younger writers. He was born July 
15, 1890, in Courland, Russia, now the Republic of Latvia. He 
descended from a Chassidic family and it is apparent from his 
writings that he journeyed to the "Rabbi" on many occasions in 
the company of his father, Naphtoly Indritz, when Morris was 
still a youngster. The mystic soul which comes to him as a heritage 
has absorbed the spirit of the times and the combination of modern- 
ism and mysticism from a marvelous background for his facile pen. 
In his stories of Chassidic life appearing daily in the Courier and 
the interesting volume published some four years ago, under the 
title: "In the Tents of H. B. D.," he has gathered together the 
legends of the "Miracle Makers," embellished them with his 
imagination and woven them into tales which find a large and 

appreciative reading public. 

# # # # # 

The finest work rendered by Kalmen Marmor in the literary 
field was done after he became a resident of Chicago, for here he 
was removed from the New York "Kibbitzarnies," the influence 
of which was hardly conducive to the best expression of his genius. 
Marmor is a man of vast learning, an independent thinker, a 
dreamer of the highest, type, possessing a rare imagination and a 
keen vision which penetrates the veiled vistas. Above all he em- 
ploys a style which phrases his thoughts in a most delightful 
manner. When Marmor first came to this country, Yehoash, the 
Yiddish poet, dedicated a poem to him. My appreciation for the poet 
and for the subject of his inspiration gave me sufficient courage 
to attempt to translate the poem from Yiddish into English. The 
title of the poem is "Dream On, Friend!" and runs thus: 

340 



W1ELDERS OF THE PEN 

Dream on, friend! Build your air castles, 

While your soul with youth abides; 

The frigid world, the practical 

Scorns your dreams and derides 

Your fancies as mere "child play;" 

It envies the poet's lofty thought, 

The treasure of his spirit, 

Its own with emptiness is fraught. 

Dream on, friend! Paint in vivid colors 

The palace of poetic skill; 

The many wonders we enjoy 

Were made by force of human will; 

Dreams they were long, long ago, 

In a lonely soul forlorn, 

Fancies in a dreamer's mind, 

The world laughed at him with scorn. 

Dream on, friend! Ere stern reality 

Your castles to dust will grind; 

Fashion your dreams' reflections 

To mirror in souls of man-kind; 

Perchance a spark, a ray, a glow 

May somewhere leave a shining beam, 

Ere scornful derision 

Destroy the fabric of your dream. 

The combination of a scholarly and philosophical mind, coupled 
with a fine poetic vision, is a rarity in the world's literature. Mar- 
mor is the happy possessor of both; he is a thinker and a poet. His 
greatest fault is that he is often so carried away by his ideals that 
he becomes the propagandist and thus ceases to be the artist, for 
the one is incompatible with the other. 

Tr •fr -St -7T -Jr 

The editorial staff of the "Forwerts" is composed of Jacob Siegel, 
City Editor; Morris Seskind, labor editor and Jonas Speavak, Dr. 

341 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Z. Lorber, M. Bogdansky, Morris Tolchin and Samuel Samd, fea- 
ture writers. The opportunities of a writer on the Forwerts are 
more limited than on the Courier. The latter caters to the most 
Orthodox elements in Jewry, and is regarded as extremely con- 
servative in its editorial policy but every member of the staff enjoys 
the fullest freedom to write on any subject from any angle that 
pleases him most. The Forwerts is ostensibly a Socialist publica- 
tion and as such is presumed to be radical in its tendencies and 
progressive in its policies but its writers are denied the freedom 
granted to the staff of the Courier. They are strictly disciplined 
and are forced to follow a certain policy, any deviation from which 
meets with severe disapproval. This policy is highly justifiable 
for two reasons: a newspaper representing certain party principles, 
a philosophy of life and all that concerns the adjustment of a social 
order and an economic system must be uniform; it can tolerate no 
contradictions or variance of opinions. The second reason is that 
the main office of every Yiddish Forwerts in the United States is 
in New York and there is one editor-in-chief over all of them, in 
the person of Ab. Cahn whose stamp is borne on every paper. No 
one excepting himself is permitted to review a book, a drama or a 
work of art. It is obvious therefore that the members of the staff 
must contend with cramping limitations and restrictions. They 
are deprived of the opportunity to develop individuality, the founda- 
tion on which alone all art is built. And yet the staff of the For- 
werts is composed of a group of highly talented writers. Seskind, 
Siegel and Samd display a capacity for real newspaper work and 
would be extremely useful on any English daily paper. Jonas 
Speavak possesses not only a talent for journalism but also a splendid 
literary style and a fine imagination. A volume from his pen con- 
taining some very delightful and original sketches of Chassidic 
life is soon to come off the press. Knowing with what vividness 
and poetic realism he portrays a subject; and having been privileged 
to have read some of his stories in manuscript I am sure that this 
volume will find a great market among the readers of Yiddish. 

Doctor Z. Lorber is essentially an essayist. He presents his sub- 
jects on ethics, social science and political economy in a smooth, 

342 



DOSTOIEVSKY IN THE GHETTO 

flexible manner, comprehensive and easily digested, not too greatly 
burdened with foreign words and phrases in the fashion of those 
writers who try to overawe their readers with their erudition. He 
lays no great claims and makes no pretenses; he delivers all he un- 
dertakes to give to his readers. M. Bogdansky may be placed in 
the same category; he too writes in an essayistic style, but often 
tries his hand at writing in a lighter vein, not without success. 
Morris Tolchin is one of the younger writers and very modern in 
style. His work runs towards the novelle; the short story would 
be his real field. His tales are realistic in form and substance and 
he tells them effectively. All in all they are an able set of young 
men and every one of them is a "social Socialist." 

Ill 

DOSTOIEVSKY IN THE GHETTO 

During the first decade of this century, the horrors of pogroms in 
Russia almost ceased to shock our pain-dulled senses, as they be- 
came daily occurrences. One morning as I was perusing "Dos 
Neue Leben," a monthly magazine published and edited by Dr. 
Chaim Zhitlovsky, of New York, my eyes fell on a novelle that 
bore the peculiar title "Der Zeilem" (The Cross). I must confess 
that it was the title that drew my attention and aroused my curio- 
sity. The name of the author, L. Shapiro, was unknown to me. 
I glanced casually at the first paragraph to obtain an idea of the 
nature of the subject treated under so strange a title in the most 
intellectual magazine published in Yiddish. The first few sentences 
riveted my attention and I did not put the magazine down until 
I finished reading the entire novelle. It was not a long story, only 
thirty-two pages, but I lost all conception of time as I read. L. 
Shapiro had the power of telling in one sentence more than 
Dostoievsky could tell in many pages. Even his dots and dashes 
were expressive. I had read Bialek's "The City of Slaughter" and 
being impressionistic had been moved to tears by the great Hebrew 
lyric poet's description of a pogrom, but my sorrow had been no 
different from that which I felt in the days of my youth when on 

343 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the ninth of Ab I joined the congregation in the chanting of the 
Lamentations. I was conscious that I was lamenting a tragedy 
thousands of years old, and sad as it might be, I was outside of it, 
my own individual life was in nowise affected. Entirely different 
was the effect that the "Zeilem" left on me. In it I was brought 
face to face with a stern reality that happened only yesterday and 
might happen again tomorrow. Shapiro laments not, he wastes 
not a single word to arouse superficial compassion; he seems en- 
tirely free from sentiment. He depicts an episode in the life of 
one person but it is the life of thousands of the Russian "Intelli- 
gentsia" who were disillusioned in their efforts to free the Russian 
Muszik from slavery under the Czars. 

The strength of the story lies not in the tale itself, but in the 
manner in which it is related, the pictures drawn with a single 
stroke of the brush, the vividness of the truth told so forcefully, 
so simply and in so few words. One single word added would spoil 
the entire effect. 

Not long after I read this story I was returning from a lecture 
late one summer evening in the company of a friend. I expressed 
a desire for a cup of coffee and my friend suggested that we stop 
at a neighborhood Cafe. The place he led me to was unfamiliar 
to me and when I asked about it he seemed surprised. "What, 
haven't you met the Yiddish Dostoievsky?" he asked. When I 
answered in the negative, he explained that that was the name 
applied to the writer, L. Shapiro, who was being read and ac- 
claimed by readers of Yiddish literature. Shapiro had come to 
Chicago and opened this Cafe for which we were headed. It was 
fast becoming a rendezvous for all the intellectuals. We arrived 
at the place, entered and took our seats. Shapiro was brought to 
our table and after an introduction he sat down with us. We 
chatted pleasantly for a long time, discussing many subjects of a 
literary character. Shapiro did not bore one with accounts of his 
own importance. In manner and demeanor he was the true artist. 
He spoke in a low voice and always left the choice of the theme 
for discussion to his companion. He seemed rather naive and while 

344 



DOSTOIEVSKY IN THE GHETTO 

the flow of his words was fluent he spoke rather slowly and often 

even hesitatingly. 

He is not prolific in his writings but what he produced is of the 

very best. He published in one volume his eight Novelles which 

bear the picturesque titles: "In the Dead City," "Pour Out Thy 

Wrath," "The Kiss," "The Cross," "On the Ocean," "The 

Stronger," "He and His Servant," and "Lines." The last named is 

subdivided into "Principles," "In the Meadows,". "The Rabbi and 

His Wife," and "Tired." But after such a promising beginning, 

Shapiro suddenly disappeared not only from the literary horizon, 

but even from his closest friends and no one knows what happened 

to him. Only one thing is certain : that he is still among the living. 

# # # # • # 

An interesting personage on the West side of Chicago is Wil- 
liam Nathanson. In the twenty-seven years that he has resided in 
Chicago he has contributed a great deal to the culture of the Jew- 
ish working classes. He was born in a small town in the province 
of Kiev, Russia, December 3, 1884. Up to the age of fourteen he 
attended a private school where he received instruction in the read- 
ing and writing of Hebrew and Yiddish, the Prophets, Mishna and 
the Talmud. He went to Biale-Tzerkov and later to Zhitomer 
preparatory to his entrance into the Gymnasium. At about the 
time he was ready for the eighth class he joined the "Bund" and 
became an active member of the revolutionary party. In 1903 he 
left Russia and came to Chicago. He was then greatly interested 
in the study of philosophy. His own philosophy on life was the 
social philosophy of Bakhunin and Peter Krapotkin, i.e., Com- 
munistic Anarchism. The small coterie of communists in this city, 
who succeeded at one time in causing a lot of smoke without fire, 
recognized in Nathanson their long sought-for leader. They in- 
vited him to lecture and he accepted on condition that they give 
up the foolish child's play of Yom Kippur Balls and the like which 
were an undignified means of spreading propaganda for a new 
social system. His terms were accepted and Nathanson began a 
series of lectures on literary, social and philosophic subjects. Reg- 
ularly every week, and sometimes twice and three times a week for 

345 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

almost two decades, he delivered these instructive talks to audiences 
of from two hundred and fifty to three hundred persons. 

In the meantime he began a course in medicine at the University 
of Illinois, but found it not to his liking and gave up the study of 
medicine in favor of a sequence in philosophy, at the University 
of Chicago. During the World War he became active in the 
"People's Relief" work and during that period became identified 
with the Jewish National Movement. He abandoned the rostrum 
and for the past several years has devoted himself exclusively to 
writing on literary subjects, philosophy and social science. Five 
years ago he published a volume entitled "Culture and Civiliza- 
tion." Many of its chapters were translated into English and pub- 
lished in the "Open Forum." He also published a thesis called 
"Parallels Between Spinoza and Bergson" which has been translated 
into English. He translated Spinoza's "Ethics" into Yiddish. His 
latest extensive work is a volume just off the press called "Intelli- 
genz, Kunst und Kuenstler." 

TT TT TT T? *JT 

Zangwill's monograph on Spinoza is entitled "The Lense Maker" 
because the great philosopher of the late middle ages made eye- 
glasses to earn a livelihood. The majority of our greatest Yiddish 
poets in Chicago and New York, men who received recognition in 
the non-Jewish world as well, toiled at the needle trade in the sweat- 
shops for the pittance that would keep body and soul together. 
One I know of even worked as a bar keeper in a saloon. 

In Chicago we have a philosopher who manufactures brooms. I 
know nothing of Jacob Babinsky's life (I know of no one who 
does), but if I attend a meeting of any philosophic group I am cer- 
tain to find him there and if the opportunity offers itself, he is sure 
to participate in the discussion. Although he speaks with a strong 
Yiddish accent, he makes himself understood. One characteristic 
of his is his outstanding generosity to his friends. If any Hebrew 
or Yiddish writer comes to him for aid in bringing out a volume, 
Babinsky is sure to take the initiative in the matter and do all in 
his power to get it published. My own theory of the life of Jacob 
Babinsky is that he was a Yeshivah Bachur who kept concealed be- 

346 



DOSTOIEVSKY IN THE GHETTO 

tween the pages of the Talmud which he was supposed to study, 
a "Treif Possul" (literature forbidden, because of its blasphemy), 
and this he studied when no one was watching. He is the organizer 
and leading spirit of "Dos Neue Leben Kultur Club," an organiza- 
tion devoted to the discussion of philosophic subjects in the Yid- 
dish tongue. 

# # # # # 

Along with William Nathanson and Jacob Babinsky we have a 
third type in the person of L. M. Stein. He is engaged in two enter- 
prises: he is the owner of a lucrative bindery establishment, and 
he is also a publisher. Fortunately for him the first enterprise 
yields an income sufficient to cover the deficit of the publishing 
company. L. M. Stein was born in a Russian town and raised in 
a non-Jewish environment, but his Jewish love for liberty and free- 
dom brought him early in life into the Russian revolutionary move- 
ment and for many years he devoted himself to that cause. About 
twenty years ago he came to America and made Chicago his home. 
He engaged in the bookbinding business and worked up a large 
establishment. Here he became acquainted with Jewish life and 
Jewish ideals and was converted to Jewish nationalism. Perhaps 
the word "converted" is not the proper term, for he did not give 
up a single iota of his former ideals. He merely added Jewish 
nationalism, which in no wise conflicts with any of his other ideas. 
Stein has artistic proclivities; his nationalism is of a cultural kind. 
He is a Yiddishist of the Zhitlovsky type, a lover of Jewish art, an 
admirer of Yiddish literature. The careless manner in which most 
Yiddish books are printed and bound violates his esthetic sensi- 
bilities. He therefore undertook to become himself a publisher. If 
he deems a literary or artistic work worth while, the question of 
profit or loss never enters his mind. He doesn't even consider the 
amount of money that will be involved. His mind at once becomes 
occupied with the thought of producing something artistically fine. 
In a short space of time he has published four extensive volumes, 
"An Anthology of Yiddish Poetry," illustrated and de luxe; "Thirty- 
five Saints and Armin," an exceptionally fine volume in octavo size 
with reproductions of Armin's paintings, and written by J. Z. Jacob- 

347 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

son; a translation of the same work into Yiddish, by Selig Heller; 
and "William S. Schwartz, a Study," by Emanuel Chapman, in the 
same form as the volume by Jacobson, with many technical and 
artistic improvements added, besides containing a splendid album 
of seven masterpieces of Jewish types, by Todros Geller. It is well 
known to Stein's friends that every one of these editions was a 
financial loss. Stein himself was not at all disappointed; he expected 
nothing else. He considers it his annual contribution to Yiddish 
art and culture and he is willing to pay what he deems his just 

portion. 

# * # # * 

The satellites, or stars of lesser magnitude, that appeared on the 
horizon of Yiddish Chicago are few in number. Yenta Sardetsky, 
at one time a resident of Chicago, has contributed some interesting 
short stories to the Socialistic Yiddish press of Chicago and New 
York. Some of these stories were written with fine literary taste 
and in an attractive style. Her themes were phases of real life, 
but too often she forgets that she is writing a story and begins to 
preach Socialism. Leah Brode contributed articles to the columns 
of the Daily Jewish Courier, mostly reflections of a feminine kind. 
These articles have been collected and published in book form. 

S. B. Komaiko produced a volume of short stories, impressions 
and etudes, under the title of "Yiddishe Welten" (Jewish Worlds). 
The stories are well written and convey worthy sentiments, but 
herein lies the trouble: Komaiko's style is smooth and pliable, he 
displays considerable originality, but he is too much the sentimental- 
ist. When the reader gets through with one or two of his short 
stories he feels as if he had indulged in too much sweetness. 

IV 
A YIDDISH PANTHEON 

Yiddish, the much maligned and still more detested language of 
which Gustav Karpeles said only forty-five years ago that it was 
"not much better than thieves' slang," has come, whether we like 
it or not, to contain a literature that occupies a prominent position 

348 



A YIDDISH PANTHEON 

in the literatures of the world. To this literature Jews of Chicago 
have contributed in all its branches. I shall consider in this chap- 
ter the subject of Yiddish poetry; it is in meter and rhythm that 
the first signs of culture express themselves. The Yiddish muse 
has a very short but extremely interesting history. A people with 
two languages of its own besides the language of the country in 
which it abides was bound to meet obstacles in the development 
of its poetry. Add to this the fact that Yiddish was always looked 
upon as the step-child, whereas Hebrew was the intellectual favorite 
child of Jewish culture, and one can see the hardships that beset 
the Yiddish muse. Jacob Fichman, a famous writer and critic in 
both languages, has this to say on the subject: "The soil on which 
Yiddish poetry grew was not as rich as that on which modern He- 
brew verse flourished. It brought no heritage of highly imaginative 
pictures or a colorful language, one that for thousands of years 
absorbed the spiritual treasures produced by countless generations. 
However, while Yiddish was devoid of a literary past and of the 
eternal national tendencies and aspirations which were the back- 
ground of the neo-Hebraic literature, it had one advantage over 
the latter. The growth and development of Yiddish went side by 
side with its folk-lore, while the motives and tendencies of modern 
Hebrew literature were born and developed under the influence 
of the book, of abstract ideas of individuals. . . . The Hebrew Lyric 
had suffered from a superfluity of words, from a language that was 
richer than the substance. . . . Yiddish Lyric suffered for want of 
words; it still lacks the graceful tender musical sound, the echo 
that vibrates from past generations." 

In the brief period of its existence Yiddish poetry passed through 
all the stages that other and much older literatures experienced. 
Yiddish had its troubadours, minstrels and minnesingers; it had its 
Chaucers and its Spensers who distinguished the minstrel from the 
lyricist, who drew the line of demarcation between the mere 
rhymster and the true poet, who differentiated between genuine 
folk-lore and its vulgar imitations. J. L. Perez was the genius who 
separated the chaff of the Badchen (kind of Yiddish troubadour, 
rhymster) from the sweet golden kernels of true poetry. It is in- 

349 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

teresting to note that the first Yiddish poet in America of the Perez 
school was a resident of Chicago. M. Scharkansky, "ein Dichter 
von Gottes gnaden," a poet by the grace of God, came here before 
Bovschover, Edelstat, Morris Rosenfeld and Yehoash (Sol. Bloom- 
gar ten) became known and long before Abraham Reisin or A. 
Liessin were heard of. His poetry was rich and tender; simple, 
but striking a chord which left a lasting impression. Unfortunately 
the present generation knows little or nothing about him. He 
came here in the middle of the eighties and although he wrote a 
great deal he was too poor to collect his poems in book-form. The 
Yiddish speaking public of those days was not sufficiently interested 
in the art of poetry to preserve it for posterity, therefore nothing is 
left of him in print. There still lingers in my memory a verse of 
one of his poems that he read to me more than forty years ago. 
The title of it is "Umetiger Nigen" (Sad Melody). It has remained 
in my mind these years because of its utter simplicity. There are 
just eight lines to a verse, but he succeeded in pouring into those 
eight lines the sadness of the soul of the Jew of Eastern Europe. 
I give here a rough translation of the verse but it is inadequate to 
convey the sweet melancholy of the original: 

Simchath Torah arrives — 
Jews are jolly and gay; 
Only one drink makes them 
Dance and gently sway. 
You think they are happy? 
No, my friend, you are wrong; 
Mournful, sad and low 
They chant a wistful song. 

In the early nineties Scharkansky left Chicago for the city of New 
York. It was not long after his arrival there that he fell sick and 
died. 

While Morris Rosenfeld and David Edelstat were vying with 
each other in the New York Yiddish weeklies, there came to the 
Chicago Ghetto a young dreamer, tall and lanky, with jet black 

350 



A YIDDISH PANTHEON 

hair and dreamy eyes. This quiet youth, J. S. Prenowitz, would 
often surprise the Yiddish reading public with the publication of a 
poem in the "Arbeiter Stimme" of New York or the "Arbeiter 
Freund" of London, England. Many were the dreams he dreamed 
in the environs of the Maxwell street Ghetto and many were the 
aircastles we both fashioned with our imaginations. In the middle 
of the nineties Prenowitz left Chicago for the East and settled in 
Philadelphia. Evidently atmospheric conditions in Chicago were 
more conducive to poetic inspiration than the Eastern climate for 
in Philadelphia Prenowitz parted with his pegasus and took to 
prose. For many years he has been the editor of the "Philadelphia 
Forward." 

The most important Yiddish poet in Chicago today is Selig Heller. 
He made this city his home almost a quarter of a century ago and 
produced his best work here. His lyric and descriptive poem, 
"Sabbath," is a classic that will live as long as the Yiddish tongue is 
spoken. It is an epic poem in a sense; it portrays the lives of the 
millions of heroes who dwell in the Ghettos. It is not unlikely that 
Heller received his inspiration 'from Heinrich Heine's poem 
"Princess Sabbath" but only the inspiration, for with the name the 
resemblance to the latter ends and Heller penetrates highways and 
byways never divined by his illustrious forerunner. It is necessary 
to remind those who are likely to read both poems and attempt to 
make comparisons between the two, that Heine wrote in a language 
in which Goethe and Schiller preceded him, while Heller writes 
in Yiddish. One thing is certain: Heller's intimate knowledge of 
Jewish life and Jewish psychology is by far greater than Heine's. 

His first volume was published in 1926, and bears the title : "Alte 
Wegen" (Old Trails). Besides "Sabbath" it contains many fine 
lyrical poems, woven in the various schemes of poetic construction. 
Since the death of Yehoash, Heller is the most learned among all 
the Yiddish poets. He is familiar not alone with the poetry of all 
the civilized peoples throughout the ages, but also with their philo- 
sophic systems and literary contributions to the storehouse of the 
wealth of humanity. Among the number of sonnets he dedicated 
to his favorite poets and thinkers, I have chosen the one to Friedrich 

351 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 
Nietzsche and rendered it in English: 

Dreamer! You soared to the heights, flying you enfeebled a wing; 
In a maze of your own contemplations you became entangled — 
Alas you fell, your soul was shattered, your body mangled, 
You lost the road to your "super-man" since you took the fling. 

You aspired to become priest and prophet in super-man's land, 
Your quest was in vain, no trace of his being could you find; 
Wavering was your faith, doubt and distrust filled your mind, 
You were followed by Zarathustra. . . . Let no one his wisdom 
understand. 

You ceased to be. . . . Your dream our heritage remained — 
Perhaps in the distant future the vision we may perceive — 
We dream your dream, your fancies we spin and weave; 
Though reality crush us to dust its splendor is maintained. 

Thus spake Zarathustra: "When night disappears comes the 

morn . . . 
Seek not the super-man in a fabulous land, among us he must be 

born." 

Another exceptionally fine poem is his "Weaving of a Dream." 
He reveals a lofty imagination and an infinite fancy, attended by 
an exquisite beauty and grace. All of the poems of Selig Heller 
are rich in substance and graceful in form. 

I. Gorelick is a master of folk-lore. It is much to be regretted 
that he has turned to modernism. He wrote a number of success- 
ful ballads and contributed many excellent poems to various publi- 
cations. In 1916 he published a volume of poems, many of which 
were artistically and brilliantly written. He is bringing out a new 
volume under the title "New Songs" which will contain all of his 
modern poems. 

Mattes Deitsch is the most modern among moderns. He writes 

352 



A YIDDISH PANTHEON 

much but as yet has not published anything in book-form. Up 
to now his poems have appeared in newspapers, journals and 
monthly magazines in Chicago and New York. 

Ben Scholem is another Chicago poet. As yet he produced little 
of importance but he is sincere in that which he has written. As 
he has a fine imagination, originality in form and a great love for 
his work, he gives promise for the future. One who deserves 
mention is a young man who came to Chicago in the late eighties. 
Although Isaac Reingold showed little originality as a poet he was 
exceptionally clever in rendering the popular ballads of the Ameri- 
can vaudeville stage into Yiddish. He was prolific and in the course 
of time became extremely popular among the Yiddish vaudeville 
actors whom he supplied with such translations. He was in great 
demand and showed unusual talent. He died at an early age, 
thereby cutting short a promising career. 

Israel Blume is known as the Merchant-Poet. A successful busi- 
ness man engaged in various enterprises which required all of his 
attention, he nevertheless found time to write Yiddish poetry, some 
of which has considerable merit. In the spring of 1922 his friends 
published a volume of his poems under the title "Gruene Zweigen" 
(Green Branches). 

"Beads" (Kareln) is the title of a beautiful little volume, done 
in the characteristic style of the publisher, L. M. Stein, and illustrat- 
ed by the well-known artist, Todros Geller. The poems are the 
outpouring of a feminine soul — that of Pessie Hirschfeld. Any 
lack of depth, or deficiency in vision, thought or ideas, due pos- 
sibly to her youth and inexperience, is atoned for by a charming 
grace and a flowing rhythm. In her outlook on life she is rather con- 
servative and her poems convey the impression that her poetic 
imagination was fed and nourished on the T'chinah and Taitch 
Chumesh. 

TT "rt* TT TT TT 

Men derive their conceptions of life through various and devious 
approaches. Some men reason by deduction, while others arrive at 
their conclusions by induction. Some take one phenomenon in 
nature and use it as the basis for a complete system of philosophy; 

353 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

others arc blessed with the ability to penetrate a whole system of 
philosophy and reduce it to one sentence, to a single aphorism or an 
epigram. In the history of literature, those who are touched by that 
heavenly spark are few and the place reserved for them in the Yid- 
dish Pantheon is still vacant, but A. H. Skolnik, a resident of Chicago 
for the past nineteen years, may aspire to it. During those nineteen 
years he composed and set down more than three thousand of his 
terse observations. I took a few of them at random and rendered 
them into English, for the benefit of my readers : 

"A fool suffers because of his foolishness, the wise suffer 
because there are so many fools." 

"Courage is the motor of action, inspiration — its wings." 

"Talent without energy is a locomotive without steam, 
energy without talent is a locomotive without wheels." 

"The loss of confidence in humanity is not as disastrous 
as the loss of it in one's self." 

"Nature is eternal, all that is doomed to die is the prod- 
ucts of nature." 

A. H. Skolnik was born in Plotel, a small town in the province 
of Kovno, Russia, February 14, 1880, the son of an eminent Rabbi. 
He received his education in a Cheder and later in the Yeshivath. 
While still in his "teens" he wrote stories and occasional poems 
which appeared in various publications, but his greatest delight was 
to write aphorisms and epigrams which he hid and cherished as 
something very sacred. He confided his secret to no one until one 
day, probably the greatest in his life, when he was brought face to 
face with Sholem Aleichem, the Yiddish sphinx of the Yiddish 
Weimar. The older man was gracious and spoke kindly to the 
youthful dreamer. His friendly manner encouraged the lad. He 
pulled out from an inside pocket a packet of papers and submitted 
it to the sage. After Sholem Aleichem perused a dozen or more 
he said to Skolnik : "Young man ! You have a fine talent, you write 
well and you have imagination. But there are many who write as 
well or better, but you have done something that no other of 

354 



THE YIDDISH STAGE 

the Yiddish literati has attempted; you are alone in the field. Con- 
tinue to write your aphorisms." Since that day Skolnik gave up all 
other branches of writing and devoted himself entirely to formulat- 
ing his concise and pithy phrases. His entire collection is to appear 
in the near future in book form and it is to be hoped that some 
one will assume the task of rendering these brilliant apothegms 
into English. 



THE YIDDISH STAGE 

Up to the latter part of the nineties there was no regularly estab- 
lished Yiddish theatre in Chicago. Every once in a while a New 
York company, headed by Jacob Adler, David Kessler, Tomashef- 
sky, Madam Lipzin, Madam Haimowich or some other celebrity 
of the Yiddish stage, would come down in season or out of season, 
and "gastelieren" for a while, until the treasurer absconded or the 
company went broke and there was no more theatre. The reper- 
toire in Yiddish, too, was extremely meager in those days and the 
standard of the drama and the dramatists was very low. With 
apologies to New York Jewry, I will state here that the general 
average of Jewish culture of Chicago was considerably higher than 
that of the larger city. The Zangwillian phrase "Melting Pot v 
was more nearly applicable to the Midwestern city than to New 
York. Here was to be seen a real process of melting and fusing, 
while in the great city of the East every element remained separate 
and intact and refused to yield to the pressure of outside influences. 
Here the recently arrived immigrant was not infrequently tempted 
to attend a Shakespearean drama played on the American stage by 
such artists as Thomas Keene, Henry Booth, Sir Henry Irving, Mme. 
Mojeska, Dame Ellen Terry and Julia Mar low and if they failed to 
grasp the full meaning of every line, their artistic understanding 
was developing nevertheless. Thus when a Yiddish company came 
to Chicago the Yiddish audience was dissatisfied and demanded 
more than the sort of stuff furnished to the same class of Jews in 
New York. 

355 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

Elias Glickman, born in Zitomvi, Russia, May i, 1871, came to 
Chicago in 1887. He had acted on the Yiddish stage since early 
childhood and for years was acclaimed as a matinee idol. He 
possessed personality, youth, energy and above all he caught the 
American spirit early in his career. He strove to place the Yiddish 
theatre and the Yiddish stage on a par with the American. Glick- 
man settled in Chicago and at intervals played with the companies 
that came from time to time from New York. Then he began to 
organize dramatic companies from among such home talent as he 
could gather in this city. When Joseph Philipson built his depart- 
ment store on Jefferson and O'Brien streets, he also provided in the 
same building for a large hall, which became known as the "Met- 
ropolitan Hall." Glickman took a lease on the place and for many 
years it served as the Yiddish theatre of Chicago. Elias Glickman 
himself quite frequently appeared behind the footlights, in romantic 
or character roles; and the leading Yiddish celebrities in the pro- 
fession performed on the stage of the Metropolitan Hall. 

When the Chicago Ghetto began to spread out in all directions, 
especially further West, the Yiddish stage kept moving from place 
to place, following the Yiddish speaking population until Glick- 
man procured a leasehold on the old power house on the North- 
west corner of Twelfth street and Blue Island avenue, formerly 
the property of the West Chicago Street Railway company. The 
place was remodeled into a comfortable theatre which served to 
amuse the Yiddish public for many years up until two years ago, 
when there were no more Jews left in the neighborhood. 

As in most enterprises, there was considerable competition to be 
met in this line but Glickman succeeded in surviving his com- 
petitors. It is difficult to estimate the extent of the cultural value 
of the earlier Yiddish drama, but whatever worth it may have 
possessed the credit is Glickman's. He alone is responsible for the 

mediocre as well as the very good Yiddish performances in Chicago. 

# # # # # 

Most of our people whose cradles stood outside of the Russian 
pale, regardless of the degree of intelligence they evince on other 
subjects, seem to find nothing attractive in the young immigrants 



THE YIDDISH STAGE 

who are forced to convey their ideas in the linguistic vehicle called 
Yiddish. If it is true that the spirit of a people cannot exist without 
ideals, it is the young immigrant from Eastern Europe who pre- 
serves the spirit of the people in this land. One who becomes 
acquainted with the various groups, their lives, aspirations and 
idealisms, cannot but entertain the greatest admiration and respect 
for them. 

In 1910 a small group of young immigrants, men and women, 
organized the "Yiddishe Dramatishe Gesellschaft." Its program 
was comprehensive and included a considerable number of cultural 
activities, but its main object was the promotion of the Yiddish 
drama and the elevation of the Yiddish theatre, by cultivating a 
higher standard of appreciation and a more esthetic conception of 
both the acting and the drama among the people who patronize 
them. The foremost among the organizers were Morris Mason, 
born in Kiev, Russia, where for some time he was a member of 
a theatrical company; Sarah Patt, who was a member and organizer 
of the Bialestock Troupe; Benjamin Gordon, Samuel Rubenstein, 
and Samuel Rissman, the latter three idealists devoted to Yiddish lit- 
erature and dramatic art. Besides the hundred or more performances 
rendered by this group before large and intelligent audiences, it 
deserves credit for bringing to Chicago, David Pinsky, Yehoash, 
Ossip Dimov and Perez Hirschbein, four of the leading contem- 
porary poets and dramatists. 

About twelve years ago, when David Pinsky came to Chicago to 
direct the "Gesellschaft" in one of his own dramas, he succeeded in 
interesting Judge Hugo Pam in the society whose main ambition 
was to bring into being a Yiddish Art Theatre. The plan appealed 
favorably to the Judge and he made strenuous efforts to bring it 
about, but conditions were such in those days just after the war 
that it proved impossible of fulfillment. Since the very inception 
of the Gesellschaft, Philip Seman, general director of the Jewish 
People's Institute, has fostered the organization and it has become, 
to a degree, the child of that institution. Among the dramatic 
masterpieces the organization has performed are: "Dead Man," by 
Sholem Ash, "Sabatti ZVi," from the Polish, "Green Meadows," 

357 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

"Idle Inn," by Perez Hirschbein, "Treasure," by Pinsky, "Every One 
with His Own God," Singer of Sorrow" and "Hear, O Israel," by 
Ossip Dimov. J. Dubov is the head of the organization and is 
directing the financial side of this Yiddish drama league. 

VI 

ANGLO-JEWISH PUBLICATIONS 

In the early eighties, Chicago Jewry boasted five publications in 
English and one or two in German, most of them weeklies. The 
only two that survived to the period where my story begins are the 
"Occident" and the "Israelite" and soon the Occident too passed 
into oblivion. It went out of existence quietly and no one felt its 
loss. No necrolog was written and no Kaddish was chanted. Thus 
the Chicago Israelite is the oldest Jewish publication in English, at 
the present time. It was founded in 1884 by Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise 
and was the legitimate offspring of the "American Israelite" pub- 
lished in Cincinnati. For many years it was managed and edited 
by Dr. Wise's son, Leo Wise, who wrote under the pseudonym of 
"Nickerdom." About fifteen years ago the capable Miss Mollie 
Osherman acquired ownership of the paper and since then has been 
its managing editor and publisher. 

# # # # # 

After preaching for ten years in the pulpit of Sinai Temple, 
Dr. Emil G. Hirsch reached the conclusion that his work was only 
half accomplished. He realized that the human voice had its 
limitations; the spoken word reached so far and no further. It was 
ephemeral and was forgotten even before the last vibrations of its 
echo died away. The written word, on the other hand, was per- 
manent and it carried far beyond the limited scope of its creator's 
voice. Transcribed to paper, the word might live forever; time could 
not dull its potency nor distance diminish its clarity. And so, in 
order to reach out to a wider sphere and perpetuate his utterances 
for future generations, he conceived the idea of presenting them to 
the world in written form. He would edit a publication in which 

358 



ANGLO-JEWISH PUBLICATIONS 

he could spread his doctrine and preach his conception of the high 
ideals of Judaism to a larger and greater audience. 

For this purpose he sought out two young men of his acquaint- 
ance, Emanuel Newman and Charles Bloch, both experienced 
newspaper men, and well-known as publishers under the firm 
name of Bloch and Newman. Together they planned "The Reform 
Advocate" and the first issue was scheduled to make its appearance 
on February 20, 1891. However, just prior to the date of its debut, 
Dr. Hirsch became ill and was compelled to leave the city in quest 
of his health. Despite the absence of his editorial, the first issue 
duly presented itself on the 20th, and contained the following 
announcement : 

"This paper enters the journalistic field as an advocate of Re- 
form Judaism, and especially to advocate the views of Dr. E. G. 
Hirsch as promulgated from his pulpit. His weekly discourses have 
been assured to these columns and they will be a regular and 
prominent feature of the paper. The indulgence of the readers is 
asked for the lack of editorial matter, but owing to the recent severe 
illness of Dr. Hirsch and his personal absence from the city, work 
of this department must be deferred until later." 

On March 6th, 1891, Dr. Hirsch took full command of the 
editorial pages and set down "Our Aims" in no uncertain terms 
as was characteristic of him. Every paragraph of his program as 
set down in his first editorials is worthy of repetition, for time has 
not lessened its value. The problems that confronted Jewish Chicago 
forty years ago have not changed and have not been solved. But 
space does not permit me to quote more than one paragraph: 
"The Reform Advocate, true to the genius of Judiasm, will attempt 
to draw within the circle of discussion the burning questions that 
now agitates society. The Jew can not confine himself of his own 
accord within a new social Ghetto; least of all should he do this 
in the land of freedom. Social problems, if any, are religious prob- 
lems. The prophets were social reformers because they were re- 
ligious reformers. It is our conviction that the principles which 
Judaism lays down for the action of man and the constitution of 
society are the only ones that can bring peace to agitated mankind, 

359 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

today divided into sects and classes and stirred more frequently by 
the spirit of hatred than guided and goaded by the genius of love 
and brotherly fellowship. As opportunity offers, public questions 
will be considered, social conflicts be discussed. And in detail the 
efforts will be made to make true the proposition that even in 
these things the 'doctrine shall go forth from Zion.' " 

For thirty-three years Dr. Hirsch held high the banner of journal- 
ism, as he set forth his ideas in editorials. Not for one single moment 
did he forget the high ideals which he set for himself when he 
assumed the position as editor. During these years his heart and 
mind worked in perfect unison. His mighty pen was dipped in the 
fluids of bitter and sweet and he used one or the other as the neces- 
sity presented itself. Dr. Hirsch was more the orator than the 
writer, the scholar more than the artist; his mind was analytical 
rather than synthetical. He would dissect a philosophic theory and 
apply it to the searchlight of science, logic and reason with far 
greater ease than he could construct a word-picture of a colorful 
design. His was a creative mind but unfortunately for posterity he 
was too greatly absorbed in studying the works of others to spend 
much time creating, consequently he left little or nothing of his own 
beautiful mind. In his journalistic venture as in the pulpit, he 
never stooped to the level of the masses but always tried to raise 
them up to his own high intellectual standard. The intelligent 
readers of the Reform Advocate did not seek elegant literature in 
the editorials, notes, leaders or discourses that issued from his pen. 
They were more certain to find a new idea in ethics, a review of a 
new philosophic thought, or his reaction to a new Jewish movement. 

On January 7, 1923, the pen fell from his hand and his powerful 
voice was forever silenced. Dr. Hirsch ended his career, a career 
covered with honor and glory. Dr. Gerson B. Levi, the son-in-law 
of the departed teacher of Sinai, took over the self-appointed mis- 
sion of the great Rabbi and for the past eight years has been 

piloting editorially the Reform Advocate. 

# # # # # 

On Saturday, February 4, 191 1, "The Sentinel" made its ap- 
pearance in Chicago. Louis S. Berlin and Abraham L. Weber were 

360 



ANGLO-JEWISH PUBLICATIONS 

the publishers and they promised a weekly journal devoted to 
Jewish interests. The first issue contained the following announce- 
ment: "We intend to supply for an intelligent Jewish public, a 
Jewish newspaper devoted to its interests without regard to the 
particular class to which the readers may belong. In promising that 
we shall discuss many Jewish questions, we have in mind that this 
term is broad enough to include questions relating to Jews, reformed 
and orthodox, or the Jews who have an equal respect for both or 
all classes. The fact remains that however differentiated among 
themselves they may be, Jews have many interests in common, and 
the chief events affecting one class affect no less the others." 

"If, however, we should restrict our work to the events that in- 
terest Jews only as Jews, we would enter upon a very narrow field. 
The Jew is not merely a Jew: he is distinctively a citizen of the 
community in which he lives, of the country to which he belongs, 
and of the world. As such, he is interested in all that deeply con- 
cerns his fellow-man in this city or any other." 

Rabbi Abram Hirschberg of Temple Sholem was its first editor. 
For its subsequent editors it had such prominent men as Rabbi 
Tobias Schanfarber, Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn and A. A. Freed- 
lander. The latter is the present occupant of the editorial chair. 
The Sentinel remains true to its original promise and furnishes 

its readers with interesting up-to-date reading material. 

# # # # # 

The "Chicago Chronicle," a weekly, is the latest acquisition to 
the list of Anglo-Jewish publications. Hyman L. Meites is its 
founder and publisher. This youngest child of English-Jewish 
journalism in Chicago came into the world quietly, modestly and 
without ostentation in 19 19, and those who know its publisher 
were not at all surprised at his new venture, for Meites had two 
great ambitions in life both of which he has fulfilled: to be the 
managing editor of a newspaper and to bring out a Jewish history 
of Chicago. 

Hyman L. Meites was born in Odessa, Russia, January 26, 1879. 
His father, Eliezar Meites, was one of the leading Maskilim of the 
period in that famous city of Jewish culture and learning. His 

361 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

home was the "Salon" where all the Hebrew intellectuals would 
assemble. The principal requirements for admission into that exclu- 
sive circle were a thorough command of the Hebrew language and 
its literature, as well as a knowledge of the various schools in 
methaphysical philosophy. Jewish nationalism as defined by Dr. 
Leo Pinsker and A'Had Ha'am was also among the essentials. With 
such an environment for a background young Meites readily ab- 
sorbed the knowledge disseminated about him and at the age of 
vche he already had a fair knowledge of Hebrew. In 1890 he 
came to New York. His father, who had preceded him thither the 
previous year, was engaged with the celebrated N. M. Scheikewich 
(Schomer), Yiddish author and novelist, in publishing a humorous 
weekly, the first of its kind in the United States. It was still too 
soon, however, to try to make the Eastern Jews laugh and the 
publication was abandoned. A year later father and son came to 
Chicago. Hyman attended public school and his father set up one 
of the first Jewish printing presses in the West. On finishing school 
Hyman served an apprenticeship in his father's printing-shop. 
Several years later he entered the printing business for himself and 
is still engaged in that occupation. In 1919 he founded the "Lawn- 
dale Press," which was later absorbed by the "Chicago Chronicle." 
H. L. Meites is one of the earliest Zionists in the city. He is the 
proud possessor of a membership card in the Chicago Gate No. 1 
of the Order Knights of Zion, which bears the number "1" indicating 
that he was the first organization Zionist in this country. He has 
been active in all Jewish movements and increasingly so since he 
became publisher and editor of the Chicago Chronicle. 

With the publication of the "History of the Jews of Chicago" 
Meites accomplished a great piece of work. It was a tremendous 
enterprise. No historian of the future will write a history of Chicago 
Jewry without a volume of Meites' history on his desk. Professor 
Meyer Balaban in a recent volume "Jews in Poland," explains that: 
"There were two kinds of Levites in the Temple of Jerusalem; one 
group had the task of opening the doors of the Temple, the other 
group would play and sing." H. L. Meites is one of those who 
opened the long closed door of Jewish history of Chicago and 

362 



PUBLISHER, TRAVELER AND LECTURER 

future historians will come to sing praise to him for his splendid 
work. 

VII 

PUBLISHER, TRAVELER AND LECTURER 

The spread of Jewish weeklies created and developed writers, many 
of whom achieved fame. Among these is Emanuel M. Newman. 
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 16, 1870, the son of 
Frank and Irma (Zinner) Newman. He attended public school in 
his native city and graduated from the Western Reserve College 
where he took a Liberal Arts course. In 1891 he came to Chicago 
with the intention of studying medicine, but instead he formed a 
partnership with Charles E. Bloch and the two energetic young 
men embarked in the publishing business. Shortly afterwards the 
firm undertook the publication of the Reform Advocate, which 
proved a success. In the course of time Bloch foresaw greater 
opportunities in book publishing and so sold his interest in the 
Reform Advocate to Newman and went to New York, where he is 
now considered among the leading publishers. 

Emanuel Newman continued to publish the Reform Advocate 
and is still its sole owner. In 1903, after an extensive journey abroad 
he began, in a modest way, a series of lectures on the things he had 
seen in the course of his travels. The enterprise seemed promising 
and he again crossed the ocean, this time extending his travels to 
gather new material for another lecture course. With his increas- 
ing experience and knowledge his reputation as a lecturer grew 
rapidly, and today the "Newman Traveltalks" are known and at- 
tended all over the country. Mr. Newman crossed the ocean ninety- 
seven times and visited almost every nook and corner of the 
earth. He has lectured in every large city of the United States, to 
vast audiences, derived from the most intelligent classes. His en- 
gaging personality, his great versatility and his wide knowledge of 
the subject all contribute to his reputation as a most interesting 
travel lecturer. He has published seven volumes dealing with his 
travels, all written in an attractive style and filled with most valu- 

363 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

able information. He has also contributed many papers on economic- 
geographical subjects concerning various parts of the world. In that 
field he has been particularly valuable to Funk & Wagnals, the 
publishers of the Literary Digest. 

VIII 

JOURNALISTS AND AUTHORS 

Chicago Jews who have contributed to American Journalism and 
all other branches of literature are so numerous that I fear my 
history will not encompass them all. Among the first to enter the 
journalistic field was Herman Reiwitch, who as city editor of the 
Chicago Tribune, the Herald, and the Chronicle, was for many 
years one of the leading newspaper men in this city. Besides his 
newspaper activities he took a deep interest in Jewish Culture, 
and was active in the two early literary organizations: the Lasker 
and the Levisohn Literary Societies. He participated in the ac- 
tivities of the Chicago Hebrew Institute in its early days, and was 
its president for one term. He was followed into the newspaper 
field by I. K. Friedman whose interesting feature stories appeared 
for many years on the editorial page of the Chicago Daily News, 
and were later selected and published in book form. He began his 
career as a foreign correspondent for the Daily News and in that 
capacity traveled extensively in China, Japan and Corea. The 
articles he supplied to his readers from those far-off places attracted 
a great deal of widespread interest. Friedman is the author of 
several novels, the most popular of which are: "By Bread Alone," 
and the "Autobiography of a Beggar." 

An American by birth and education, the son of wealthy parents, 
I. K. Friedman was nevertheless strongly touched by the sufferings 
of humanity and he became a convert to socialism even before the 
dawn of the new century and before it became a fad. Unlike most 
of the Jewish socialists of that period, Friedman's sympathies were 
not entirely absorbed by his socialism. After the Kishineff pogrom, 
when the Jewish youth of Russia organized "Self Defense" groups 
in their various communities, and Dr. J. L. Magnes organized 

364 



JOURNALISTS AND AUTHORS 

similar groups throughout the United States, for the purpose of 
collecting funds to assist their brothers in Russia, I. K. Friedman 
undertook the chairmanship of the Chicago branch of which I was 
the secretary. He was probably the first Jew of his class in this city 
to demonstrate his sympathies for the Zionist cause. I am inclined 
to believe that a great talent was lost in him because of his wealth. 
As it so often does, an abundance of worldly possessions stifled his 
ambition and acted as a soporific to his creative powers. 

Victor Henry Polacheck entered upon a .newspaper career as 
early as 1893, when he joined the staff of the Chicago Times. In 
1897 he changed to the Chicago Inter-Ocean and a year later became 
telegraph editor of the New York World. In 1899 he became as- 
sociated with the Hearst newspaper interests and in 1904 was sent 
to Chicago to take charge of the Chicago Examiner as its managing 
editor. He held that position for ten years after which he was called 
back to New York to fill a high executive office in the Hearst 
organization. Later he again returned to Chicago to manage the 
Herald and Examiner. He is now head of the Hearst Sunday 
newspapers in fourteen cities. 

Jack Lait, Elias Tubenkin, Ben Hecht, and Meyer Levin began 
their careers as reporters on the secular press of Chicago, where 
they developed their talents, entered into the field of literature and 
became prominent as writers of essays and fiction. They have all 
since, however, become residents of the American capitol of arts 
and letters, the city of New York. Frank Emerich, a son of the late 
congressman Martin Emerich, was for many years associated with 
the Chicago Tribune and acquired a reputation as an efficient and 
able newspaperman and journalist. Isaac Don Levine, a writer 
of distinction, had some interesting experiences in the early days 
of Bolshevism in Russia where he was sent as correspondent for 
the Chicago Daily News. His vivid accounts of the epoch-making 
events bore all the marks of truth and disclosed a considerable 
knowledge of the inside affairs. 

Edna Ferber and Maxwell Bodenheim, both renowned novelists, 
though with entirely diverse tendencies, received their inspiration 
on the shore of Lake Michigan on the south side of Chicago, but 

365 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

they too have since moved to New York. Dr. Hyman Cohn and 
his gifted son, Lester Cohn who became famous, the elder with his 
"Tents of Jacob," the younger with "Sweepings" and the two in col- 
laboration with "Aaron Traum," courted the muses in the west side 
parks of Chicago. Victor Rubin, author of "Tar and Feathers," 
athough a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he is now a resident of 
Chicago and associated with the Hearst newspapers in this city. 

As with the journalists, so too is the list of Jewish poets and 
dramatists in Chicago, too long to receive more than a casual 
summary. Lawrence Lipton, Albert Halper and Nohami Krup are 
only a few of the many who have rendered fine contributions to 
modern American poetry. Robert Pollack is a critic with a dis- 
criminating taste for the esthetic and a splendid literary conception. 
A master essayist, endowed with a keen sensibility for all the arts is 
S. P. Rudens, for many years associate editor of the "Reflex" and 
contributor to numerous literary magazines. Besides a deep under- 
standing of the higher principles of art and literature, an intelligent 
appreciation of various schools and tendencies, he commands a 
deft and facile pen. His style carries charm and beauty combined 
with a force of conviction to his readers. 

Dr. Meyer Waxman, professor of Jewish philosophy at the He- 
brew Theological College, has recently completed an extensive 
history of "Hebrew Literature," a work of great merit which is 
bound to increase in value with the spread of the knowledge of 
the Hebrew language. 

Dr. A. Levinson, recognized extensively as an authority in pedi- 
atrics, has assayed various kinds of literature in the past quarter of 
a century. He has contributed to Hebrew, Yiddish and English 
publications, such widely diversified compositions as belles letters, 
historical documents, and scientific treatises. His first efforts ap- 
peared in a Yiddish weekly newspaper, of which Leon Zolotkoff 
was the editor. Dr. Levinson, then a student at the University of 
Chicago, wrote an article on the life of "Jewish Students in Ameri- 
can Universities." Zolotkoff encouraged him to write more and he 
continued to write on the same subject until he completed a com- 
prehensive discourse on the types of Jewish students in our univer- 

366 



JOURNALISTS AND AUTHORS 

sities. Sometime later he revised these articles, recast them into the 
Hebrew language and had them published in a Hebrew magazine 
of high literary standing where such poets, scholars and philoso- 
phers as Dr. Klausner, Ahad H'aam and Bialek were contributors, 
and Levinson was at once acclaimed as a Hebrew scholar and a fine 
stylist. Since that period he has written on a variety of subjects in 
all three languages. 

In 1924, Dr. Levinson wrote an interesting volume in Hebrew 
on the life and medical activities of a Jewish doctor, Tuvia Katz, 
who lived in Venice during the sixteenth century. Though this 
volume is historical in character, it has considerable scientific value. 
Dr. Levinson has unearthed other physicians of the medieval ages 
and written historical monographs about them in Hebrew as well 
as in English. However, most of his writings in recent years have 
been devoted to the science of medicine. 

Not content with following his extensive practice merely for the 
monetary remuneration it yields, Dr. Levinson has devoted a great 
deal of his time to research and experiment. He has written several 
volumes on his findings and conclusions, and these are. rather 
universally accepted as authoritative. 

Dr. A. Levinson was born in Russia, August 25, 1888. He at- 
tended the Hebrew schools and a secular school in his native land 
and came to America as a young man. He immediately began 
to prepare himself for the University and in due time completed 
a course in medicine. He married Ida Perlstein, a high school 
teacher and a leader in the Hadassah movement of this city. He 
has crossed the Atlantic several times to attend clinics in the leading 
hospitals of France, Austria and Germany. He is on the staff of 
some of the leading hospitals in Chicago and is a member of the 
faculty of the Northwestern University Medical School, in the 
department of Pediatrics. 

Rosalie G. Mendel, daughter of Max and Jennie Mendel, is a 
Chicago product; she was born, reared and educated here and has 
taken a place in Chicago's educational system, as a teacher in one 
of the public schools. A number of her essays have been accepted 
by leading magazines and periodicals. Some of her stories, taken 

367 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

from life, were published in leading newspapers as serials. Her 
most interesting work is a series of books, under the title of "Spark," 
which she wrote especially for children. All of Miss Mendel's 
writings are marked with an altogether charming simplicity which 
gives them special beauty and makes them appeal as strongly to 
the adult as to the juvenile mind and fancy. Her fiction is charac- 
terized by the same quality which probably accounts for the great 
demand for her writings. While she is absorbed in her work as 
a teacher and as the creator of a much needed literature for chil- 
dren, she is also actively interested in many literary and philan- 
thropic organizations, of a Jewish and non-Jewish character. 

Bertha Loeb Lang has been able to combine her work in Anglo- 
Jewish journalism with her splendid service to the Jewish com- 
munity of Chicago. She was first among the journalists of her sex 
to sound the need of a Hebrew Institute and was a tireless worker 
for the cause until its complete realization was achieved. Edna 
Levin, Rose Meyer, Renee B. Stern and Hattie Summerfield are 
prolific contributors to the field of journalism and literature. Alfred 
Frankenstein, a winner of the coveted Poetry Prize at the Univer- 
sity of Chicago, has proven his versatility in his recently published 
volume on music. The book was well received and favorably com- 
mented upon by the best crtics. Franklin P. Adams, a Chicagoan 
by birth and education, is one of America's outstanding humorists. 
He conducts a column which is syndicated and because of its subtle 
wit and spontaneous humor is in great demand throughout the 
country. 

Mrs. Alfred (Louise Loeb) Hamburger has contributed a num- 
ber of articles to Anglo-Jewish publications and is a leading spirit 
in many cultural and literary enterprises. She has tried her pen at 
essays, short stories, dramas and one act plays. She can boast the 
distinction that in her home about a quarter of a century ago the 
Book and Play Club, of which Judge Julian W. Mack became the 
president, was born. This club is still in existence, but I am afraid 
it has strayed a long distance from its original purpose. Its meetings 
are great social functions, but its contributions to general culture are 
almost nil. Mrs. Hamburger, however, has always been alert to all 

368 



THE PEN AND THE PALLETTE 

cultural opportunities. She organized the Sinai Center Players' 
Club during the period that Dr. Pedott was superintendent of the 
Center. As president of the Sinai Temple Sisterhood and an active 
worker in the Jewish People's Institute she was able to introduce 
her ideas to a broad and receptive public. She is an attractive and 
charming reader and has done a great deal of lecturing on modern 
literature, a subject with which she is thoroughly familiar. 

Some of the men who have attracted attention in contemporary 
journalism are Joel David Wolfson, son of J. M. Wolfson who for 
many years was editor of the Daily Jewish Courier, William Sahud, 
Charles Schwartz, Hy, Mayer, Victor Yarros, Meyer Zolotaroff and 
Leon Stolz, son of Dr. Joseph Stolz. 

Among the most recent Chicago authors is Robert Lee Straus. 
A volume just off the press, entitled "The American Remnant," 
is the choice of the Jewish Book Club. Mr. Straus, a native of Cin- 
cinnati, has made Chicago his home for the past seven years. He 
knows the life of the middle-class Jews and though himself an 
American by birth, he understands the psychology of the Jew born 
in the old country who tries so hard to become Americanized on 
his arrival here. He shows a fine knowledge of Jewish history and 
philosophy, is sufficiently acquainted with Jewish movements and 
Jewish ideals and writes in a fluent and forceful style. He lacks 
a certain technique in the art of short story writing and therefore 
does not always succeed in winning the reader's sympathy towards 
his characters. In many instances where they should be indued 
with pathos they appear merely as grotesques, and become types 
on paper only, without life, caricatures rather than men and women. 
With more experience he should overcome this deficiency and then 
something worth while can be expected from the pen of Robert 
Lee Straus. 

IX 

THE PEN AND THE PALLETTE 

Jacob Z. Jacobson, a young man in his twenties, began his liter- 
ary and journalistic career about ten years ago, on the editorial staff 

369 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

of the "Sentinel." He possesses a serious mind which at once mani- 
fested an interest in the fine arts. In the ten years that he has been 
serving in the Temple of the Muses, Jacobson has written consider- 
ably on a variety of subjects for many publications. It was my 
privilege to read some of his writings in manuscript form and I 
have derived a great deal of pleasure from them. He is gifted with 
an extroardinary talent: a splendid style, a colorful imagination 
and above all a sane and healthy outlook on life. His kindly disposi- 
tion and personality are reflected in his style. He suffers, however, 
from one great fault: his forced effort to make his style extremely 
modern. Because of my sincere admiration for his work it is my 
earnest hope that he will never succeed in this attempt. His natural 
style is unaffectedly charming and bears the stamp of the genuinely 
artistic. It flows on as effortlessly as a woodland stream. Even his 
occasional lapses into sentiment, which he tries so hard to suppress, 
are in reality a sincere pathos which takes off the edges and human- 
izes his magnificent style. 

In 1929, L. M. Stein published Jacobson's a volume "Thirty-five 
Saints and Emil Armin." It is a monograph on the life and works 
of the artist, Emil Armin. The title is based on a Jewish legend 
that there are scattered throughout the world thirty-six saints whose 
saintliness is unknown to anyone. Should this number be decreased 
by even one, the legend tells, the world would be doomed to eternal 
oblivion. The author fancifully adopts the legend and describes 
Armin as one of the thirty-six saints. C. J. Bulliet, of the Chicago 
Evening Post, in reviewing the book writes: "The most ambitious 
monograph that has been done on a Chicago artist. The author, 
J. Z. Jacobson, also of Chicago, wisely dismisses the thirty-five saints 
with a line or two and concentrates on Armin, who is undoubtedly 
in the front rank of Chicago's 'modernists' and is likely to grow 
greatly in repute through Jacobson's entertaining way of handling 
him. . . ." Mr. John Drury, in the Chicago Daily News, also lauds 
the author's style: "The outstanding quality of Jacobson's book is 
its sincerity ... his prose is sometimes as colorful as peasant em- 
broidery. ..." I could go on quoting at great length from the 
enthusiastic critics, but his own opening paragraph conveys more 

370 



THE PEN AND THE PALLETTE 

eloquently the richness and imagination of his work: "All of us 
seek something in life, though many of us know not what. It beats 
around us like an angry sea and much of the time even the best 
and wisest and strongest of us are content if haply we may find an 
island of safety and peace. But the storm is not only on the outside. 
Inside of us, too, is fermentation. Inside of some of us there is an 
urge, a call, a driving force which is implacable, a commanding 
voice which must be obeyed. Out upon the uncharted seas of the 
spirit it sets the chosen few a-sailing into the crackling heat of the 
battles of the intellect it forces them to go." It is rich in metaphor 
and highly symbolic of life. This is only a beginning but it gives 

great promise for the future. 

# # # # # 

Another brilliant writer who devotes his pen to essays on the 
plastic arts, is Manuel Chapman. He was born in Chicago and 
received his early training here, but when he completed his high 
school course he was sent by his father, a wholehearted Zionist, 
to Palestine to continue his studies. The young man, possessed of 
an artistic temperament, restless and afflicted with the wanderlust, 
went to Paris, France, after he graduated from the Gymnasium. 
There he quaffed freely from the fountain of modernism, drinking 
eagerly of the writings of such men as Joyce and George Moore. 
The two masters of modern prose did not fail to leave their im- 
pression on him and one discerns at once in Chapman's style the 
influence of the two greatest modernists in English letters. Chap- 
man is somewhat of a paradox. In this age of realism he is not 
prudish and yet he does not find it necessary to offend or shock 
his readers. Modern in the extreme, his style is almost classical. 
A strong adherer to the theory of "Art for Art's sake" yet he is 
profoundly interested in the human side of life. A student of 
Freud but catholic in principle; an impressionist by conviction, a 
romanticist by nature; a realist of the Zola-Flaubert type and a 
dreamer of the "Blue Flower." This colorful irridescent quality 
renders Manuel Chapman wholly fascinating as a person and lends 
charm to his style as a writer. 

Chapman has written for many literary and art magazines, here 

371 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

and abroad; and has been for some time a steady contributor to 
the art and literary sections of "The Chicago Evening Post." Prob- 
ably his outstanding work is a volume on the life and works of 
William S. Schwartz, published by L. M. Stein. This volume, 
embellished with several reproductions of Schwartz's sculpture and 
paintings and embodying the magnificent handicraft of Stein, is 
a work worthy of the French prose writers. Chapman not only 
understands art in all of its manifestations, but is able to convey 
even to the layman his impressions and ideas concerning each form 
of art as it comes under his keen observation. Adding to this his 
own imaginative style he succeeds in making his subject most 
interesting. The reader is not burdened for one moment, but 
remains completely absorbed in the theme; at the same time, on 
closing the volume he is left with the gratifying realization that 
he has acquired considerable knowledge on the subject of art. 

X 

A WOMAN HISTORIAN 

There is scarcely a branch in professional, educational and liter- 
ary life in which women do not play an important part. However, 
in the role of historian, she has remained behind. I know of no 
important history written by a woman, with probably the one 
exception, the "Short History of the Jews" by Lady Magnus. It is 
apparent that women are inclined more towards the reflective and 
imaginative and lack the faculty for concentration and research 
necessary to chronicle a record of past events. It is a Chicago 
woman, Anita Libman Lebeson, who makes the second exception 
with her outstanding document, "The Jewish Pioneers of America." 
It is a powerful and fascinating history of the part the Jews have 
played in the development of this country from the time of its 
discovery in 1492 up until 1848. 

I have known Anita Libman Lebeson for many years. I also 
knew Herman Lebeson, her husband, when he was still a student 
at the Ohio State University, dreaming of the time after he com- 
pleted his studies when he would go to Palestine and himself 

372 



A WOMAN HISTORIAN 

become a pioneer. But his dreams failed to materialize. He met 
Anita Libman after she received her degree of Bachelor of Arts 
and various scholastic honors and the two were married. Mrs. 
Lebeson had specialized in history and devoted a great part of her 
graduate work at the University of Illinois to research into the 
extent of the Jewish participation in the development of the Missis- 
sippi Valley. She also did considerable research work for the Illinois 
Centennial Commission. During her academic year 1918-1919 she 
was a member of the faculty in the department of history of her 
Alma Mater. Later she taught history at the Marshal High School 
in this city for five years and during the same period reviewed books 
for the literary supplement of the Chicago Evening Post. 

The "J ew i sn Pioneers in America" is a masterpiece from every 
point of view. It is crowded with facts concerning the activities 
of the Jews beginning with those first few who came as sailors with 
Columbus, the later arrivals, their life as Southern and Northern 
colonists and continuing with the part they played in the Revolu- 
tionary War. These facts have not been generally known and the 
marshaling of them into chronological order and publishing them 
in book form is a great contribution not only to Jews of the world 
in general, and American Jews in particular, but to the history of 
the country at large. 

Although Mrs. Lebeson displays a capacity for concentrating on 
research and penetrating obscure sources in order to bring forth 
important data, she still retains her feminine traits and has used 
those qualities to great advantage. As a result the "Jewish Pioneers 
in America" reads like a romance — a romance which caused a critic 
in an enthusiastic review to exclaim: "The Jew is not only the 
Eternal Wanderer, he is by that self-same token, the Eternal Pio- 
neer!" 

Exquisitely beautiful and charming is the opening chapter of the 
book describing the two continents, Europe and America, before 
Columbus set out on his voyage to the Western hemisphere which 
"lay slumbering undisturbed by the white man's invasion." Follow- 
ing this part which is like an overture to a Wagnarian opera, comes 
a decidedly interesting discussion about the origin of Columbus, 

373 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

his writings and the incidents upon which are based the contention 
that he is of Jewish descent. Of equally fascinating interest is her 
picture of the tragic condition of our ancestors during that period, 
when she says: 

"The peoples of Europe are seething in a caldron of fecund activi- 
ty. What of the Jews? 

"There is a monotonous sameness about the Jews of Europe. 'The 
Jews of France plundered and banished . . . martyred . . . restored. 
Perils of Jews in Rome. . . . Falsely accused of poisoning wells 
during the Black Death. . . .' " 

This part of the book forms a strong contrast with the latter part 
which brings us to North America, in the days of the revolutionary 
period, the days in which lived Rebecca Graetz, after whom Sir 
Walter Scott modeled the Jewish maiden Rebecca, in his novel 
"Ivanhoe"; the days which saw the brilliancy and splendor of 
Jewish social life in New York, Philadelphia and Newport; the 
leadership of the Jews in arts and letters, their devotion to high 
ideals and their participation in the struggle for independence. 

Anita Libman Lebeson created an indestructable monument for 
herself and has rendered an invaluable service to her people in 
writing "Jewish Pioneers in America." 

XI 

MAGIC SOUND 

In the realm of the arts, next to the written word comes sound 
and harmony. More than twenty-three hundred years ago, in the 
city of Athens, the great philosopher, Plato, mused on the subject 
of music as follows: "Music is a moral law; it gives a soul to the 
universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm 
to sadness, gayety and life to everything. It is the essence of odor, 
and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful of which it is the 
invisible but nevertheless dazzling, passionate and eternal form." 
In this particular art Jewish genius soars very high and Jews all 
over the world have contributed far in excess of their numerical 
proportion. Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, the son of an 

374 



MAGIC SOUND 

apostate Jew, said: "The ear, the voice, the fancy teeming with 
combinations, the inspiration fervid with picture and emotion, that 
came from Caucasus, and which we (Jews) have preserved un- 
polluted, have endowed us with almost the exclusive privilege of 
music; that science of harmonious sound which the ancients recog- 
nized as most divine and deified in the person of their most beautiful 
creation. . . ." And Disraeli continues: "There is not a company 
of singers, not an orchestra in a single capital that is not crowded 
with our children under feigned names which they adopt to con- 
ciliate the dark aversion which your posterity ' will some day dis- 
claim with shame and disgust. . . ." 

In Chicago as in every other metropolis, the Jews have been and 
still are the leaders in the art of music, not only as interpreters 
but also as patrons and promoters. Louis Eckstein has shared with 
countless numbers of music-lovers his delight in 

"A tone 

Of some world far from ours, 

Where music and moonlight, and feeling are one." 

He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 10, 1865, the son 
of Samuel and Anna (Bloch) Eckstein. While still a boy he dis- 
played a rare fondness for music. The memory of a beautiful pas- 
sage in a symphony would thrill him for days and an aria from an 
opera would "give wings to his mind and flight to his imagination." 
In those days he aspired to become a concert violinist, but he could 
never satisfy himself with mediocrity in any undertaking and he 
abandoned his ambition when he realized that the spark of genius 
was not his. As he grew older he reached the conclusion that a 
more universal understanding of music would lead to a greater 
appreciation of it. Greater facilities must be provided to acquaint 
all people with the divine pleasure of sound and harmony. And 
Louis Eckstein resolved in his heart of hearts that if ever the time 
came in his life when he would possess wealth, he would dedicate 
himself to that end. 

As soon as he finished school he entered the service of a railroad 
company. Step by step he climbed the ladder of success until finally 

375 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

he reached the position of General Passenger Agent. But his ma- 
terial interests did not consume his dreams and music still held 
him in its magic power. He resigned from his position with the 
railroad company and came to Chicago. Here he formed a part- 
nership with Stummer and Rosenthal and the three embarked in 
the millinery business. In the years that followed the firm branched 
out to include various other enterprises all of which met with great 
success. 

And it came to pass that the latent ideal in the mind of Louis 
Eckstein was aroused from its dormancy by an opportune incident. 
A large tract of land adjoining the beautiful quiet suburb on the 
North Shore of Lake Michigan where he resided went into the 
hands of a receiver. The property had hitherto been used as a 
summer garden and many different rumors were afloat regarding 
its disposition. One rumor had it that it was to be converted into 
a sort of Coney Island; another, that this beautiful site was to be 
utilized as winter quarters for a circus. In either case the surround- 
ing suburbs would be immeasurably harmed and property values 
would inevitably depreciate. A meeting was called by the property 
owners to make a united effort to avert the threatened calamity. 
On his way to the meeting, Mr. Eckstein's mind dwelt on the 
impending menace. As his car wound through the woods and 
thickets, climbing and twisting along the old gravel road not yet 
adjusted to modern travel, a thought flashed through his mind. 
The scent of the evening air, the singing of the night birds, the 
stars, the moon and the winding road rolling slowly and torturously 
through wooded highlands and shadowy ravines reminded him of 
a similar journey on a night a few years before, when on the other 
side of the Atlantic he traveled by motor to Bayreuth to attend a 
Wagner festival. He suddenly exclaimed to a companion in the 
car: "Eureka! I have it. Instead of an amusement park, or a winter 
shelter for a circus it shall be a Bayreuth or an Oberammergau!" 

At the meeting Eckstein was made vice chairman of the com- 
mittee named to work out plans and a short time later he had a 
deed to the ground in his pocket. The dreams of his boyhood 
were at last beginning to assume shape and Ravinia Park was in 

376 



MERCHANT, PHILANTHROPIST AND ARTIST 

the throes of creation. This was in the spring of 191 1. Next June 
Ravinia will enter on its twentieth season of opera and concert. 
Mr. Eckstein has fulfilled his unspoken promise beyond even his 
own expectations for he has made Ravinia Park the greatest opera 
house in the world, a place "where music and moonlight and 
feeling are one." It has become known throughout the civilized 
world as the "Summer capital of music." The singers are the great- 
est opera stars of Europe and America, the orchestra is composed 
of musicians of the Chicago Symphony organization and the reper- 
toire is the finest of any opera season anywhere. 

The stage, set in a clearing in a natural woodland, has a roof to 
protect it from the elements, but there are no walls to shut in the 
music or to close out the romantic setting of the night. The notes 
of the birds mingle with voices and orchestra in an ensemble which 
carries far out into the stillness of the evening for the acoustics 
here are more perfect than any man-made ones. Paul W. Matin 
was inspired by the beauties and charm of Ravinia Park to write 
a prose poem from which I quote the following paragraph: 

"... Again in the sweetly scented groves they (the Greek gods) 
wander playing upon responsive instruments — instruments divinely 
human and humanly divine. Here they awaken life anew, painting 
in flaming colors the hopes, the aspirations of man, and in bewitch- 
ing melody express the beating of the human heart. Here nature 
responds to their every mood and another Parthenon fitting setting 
beneath the stars that twinkle in the canopy of Heaven. There is 
the soft plash of fountains, the sweet call of birds, the moon that 
knows age old romance. It is the modern inspiration and man 
calls it — Ravinia — the Opera House in the woods." 

XII 

MERCHANT, PHILANTHROPIST AND ARTIST 

My interest in art and artists has often led me to contemplate 
the question: "Is great wealth conducive to art or is it a hin- 
drance? Does the possession of it inspire the artist to give all 
that is in him to the full measure of his genius and lead him to a 

377 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

higher and loftier range or is there a general tendency on the part 
of too much wealth and affluence to stifle the urge in the artist and 
suffocate his genius?" I again fell victim to these meditations when 
I began to delve into the life-story of one of Chicago's foremost 
Jewish citizens: financier, philanthropist and erstwhile virtuoso, Mr. 
Max Adler. 

Max Adler was born in Elgin, Illinois, on May 12, 1866. In 
imagination I seem to hear sung at the cradle of this baby such 
songs as the "Lullaby" by Brahms and Schubert's "Serenade." As 
the child grew his response to music steadily increased. His intelli- 
gent parents were not slow in detecting his aptitude for music and 
as soon as he was old enough to handle a violin, they wasted no 
time in furnishing every opportunity to bring forth the talent of 
this youth who gave such promise in his early years of becoming a 
musical prodigy. They secured the best instructor of the violin 
that was available in Elgin and when that teacher proved inade- 
quate they took, him to Chicago, placed him under abler teachers. 
In 1884 he was sent to Berlin, Germany, to pursue his violin studies 
under the great masters. 

In Berlin he entered the Royal Conservatory and became a pupil 
of the two celebrated professors Joachim and Wirth. Adler remained 
in Berlin four years. Living in an atmosphere of music and art, he 
accumulated and stored away a reserve of esthetic spirituality to 
last a lifetime. In 1888 he returned to America and joined the Men- 
delssohn Quintet of Boston, as violinist and manager. During the 
years he served in the Temple of Apollo he grew increasingly inter- 
ested in the construction of string instruments. He studied old 
violins until he became a connoisseur of rare instruments, particu- 
larly of those created by Stradivarius with their external beauty and 
fine quality of tone. He is now the possessor of some of the rarest 
and most valuable Stradivarius pieces known to the world of musi- 
cal-instrument experts. Of particular intrinsic and sentimental 
value to him are a violin and a violincello, the former once the 
property of his teacher and master, Professor Wirth, and the latter 
previously owned by Professor Hausman, the noted cellist of the 
famous Joachim String Quartet. 

378 



MERCHANT, PHILANTHROPIST AND ARTIST 

In 1898 he became associated with Sears, Roebuck & Co., and was 
placed in charge of its musical department. Though by nature and 
training an artist, whose mind was inclined to soar to imaginative 
flights rather than plow through business details, yet he proved 
himself a successful merchant and an industrial organizer of ex- 
traordinary ability. In a brief period of time four departments were 
added to his management and supervision. He was elected a direc- 
tor of the corporation and eventually rose still higher and became 
vice president of the company. 

During the years in which he devoted himself to the business 
and its many responsibilities, his passion for music and especially 
for the violin did not cool. For years he has assembled musicians 
in his palatial home on Greenwood avenue and one evening a week 
has been regularly devoted to quartets and chamber music. His 
continued fervor and the masterly manner with which he handles 
the instrument makes one wonder to what heights he might have 
ascended had he devoted himself exclusively to music. On one 
occasion a quartet composed of Theodore Du Moulin, George Dash, 
Alexander Zukovsky and Max Adler were playing at the latter's 
home. They were reading for the first time a very difficult quartet 
composed by Cesar Frank, and when they finished Du Moulin 
remarked to his fellow artists : "I am willing to wager that not eight 
of the first violinists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra could 
have read this composition as well as Mr. Adler." 

Mr. Adler's love for music, coupled with altruistic tendencies, 
revealed a new phase of philanthropy which is the more appreciated 
because of the manner in which it is practiced. It is a silent form 
of generosity whose noble deeds and accomplishments are not pro- 
claimed from the house-tops but remain known only to the recipi- 
ent. Mr. Adler has helped many young men and women realize 
their ambition towards musical careers, assisting them financially 
to acquire a musical education. Unfortunately, this sort of philan- 
thropy is still unpopular among the Jews of Chicago. It is refreshing 
to find a man of Max Adler's type, a man in the early sixties exhila- 
rated with enthusiasm for music and all the finer things in life 
like a youth of twenty; a captain of industry whose memory of 

379 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

standing before large audiences with his violin under his arm, 
acknowledging acclaim is still vivid in his mind. A man who gave 
to the city of Chicago one of the finest educational institutions, a 
Planetarium wherein are disclosed the wonders of heaven and a 
patron of music who makes it possible for many thousands to revel 
in melody and harmony. The real and ideal are combined in him; 
the practical man who accomplishes great things and the dreamer 
of sound and harmony, of etudes and fugues. 

Mr. Adler has been a liberal contributor to all Jewish causes and 
is identified with all Jewish movements but the soul of the artist 
in him embraces all humanity, regardless of creed, color or race. 

XIII 
THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL 

The first words uttered by man were spoken to express his needs. 
Words expressing ideas came with the advancement of the human 
mind. It is my opinion that the language of the soul which expressed 
itself in sound and rhythm antedates the language that conveys 
ideas. The Jews, who can trace the oldest history of all existing 
peoples, give evidence that they were among the first to use the 
soul-language as a means of expression for their finer feelings. They 
invented what is probably the first musical scale. Crude and primi- 
tive though it was, it serves as ethnological evidence of their aesthe- 
tic progress, which rather predisposes one to accept the fact that 
the Jews today are also foremost in the realm of music. 

The history of music in the city of Chicago is with few exceptions 
a history of Jewish musicians and goes back about sixty years. In 
the early seventies, Carl Wolfsohn, an eminent pianist, a learned 
pedagogue and generally cultured musician, came to Chicago and 
organized the Beethoven society for chamber music. He was fol- 
lowed by Emil Liebling, another renowned pianist virtuoso. These 
two formed the nucleus of the great musical center that Chicago 
was destined to become. The early nineties, with the approach of the 
Columbia World's Fair Exposition, saw the musical clique greatly 
augmented by men and women of universal acclaim. Fannie 

380 



THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL 

Bloomfield Zeisler had already acquired a reputation as the greatest 
piano vertuoso of her sex in the world. L. Gaston Gottschalk, bari- 
tone, famous in European opera circles and a brother of the cele- 
brated L. M. Gottschalk, composer, Simon Elias Jacobson, concert- 
master of the Theodore Thomas Symphony Orchestra, and Max 
Bendix, now conductor of the Century of Progress World's Fair 
Band, all came to Chicago, attracted by its possibilities. A few years 
later Leopold Godowsky came to Chicago to labor on most of his 
preparatory work. Herman Devries, well known as an opera singer, 
Robert Goldbeck and Ernesto Consolo, an Italian Jew, pianist, 
composer and teacher, at the head of a well-known music school 
in Italy, also joined the Chicago musicians' ranks. 

Of the many musical prodigies who have arisen in the past forty- 
five years, the most outstanding is Maurice Rosenfeld. He was born 
in Vienna and came to America at the age of five. His parents 
made their home in New York, where he graduated from the New 
York City College and attended Columbia University. He began 
his musical studies in New York at an early age. Two of his most 
important instructors were pupils of Franz Liszt. Rosenfeld came 
to Chicago in 1886 and continued his studies here. For over a 
period of twenty years he was an instructor in the piano department 
of the Chicago Musical College. Since 1916 he has been the head 
of the Maurice Rosenfeld Piano School. 

Besides possessing an extraordinary talent for music Rosenfeld 
writes exceptionally well. Knowing as he does, the theory of har- 
mony and composition and being a master of the pen to present 
his ideas in lucid and literary style, it is not strange that he became 
nationally known and accepted as a music critic. He is a constant 
contributor to the leading American magazines of music, the "Musi- 
cal Courier" and the "Musical American." From 1907 to 1916 he 
was musical editor of the Chicago Examiner, and for the past 
thirteen years has been the musical editor of the Chicago Daily 
News. Rosenfeld achieved popularity as a lecturer on the subject 
of music and has been heard in many Eastern and mid-Western 
universities. While crowding all this into a busy life he has still 
found time to spread the knowledge and appreciation of his art 

381 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

among the Jewish people. He has delivered many illustrated lec- 
tures to large groups of Jewish audiences, particularly in the Hebrew 
Institute, Amalgamated Workers' Association and kindred groups. 

More than twenty years ago, Maurice Rosenfeld's father died 
and following the old traditions, ten adults were called to the 
house of mourning to say prayers for the dead. It was natural that 
the ten should be selected from among his colleagues. However, 
on the first evening, when the "Minyon" was assembled Rosenfeld 
relates that he noted among them a stranger, a man quite tall in 
stature, with fine features and a noble head who bore no charac- 
teristic that would suggest Jewish blood. He was convinced that 
his friends had brought the Gentile as a joke and grew irate at 
what he considered an ill-chosen and untimely jest. 

When the time came to read the services, it was discovered that 
there wasn't a prayer-book in the house. While the group helplessly 
cast about for some means out of their predicament, the "Goy" 
stepped forward and offered to recite the services from memory. 
He began at once in a rich clear voice and continued through to 
the end. 

Rosenfeld has never forgotten that recital with the traditional 
intonation and the perfect pronunciation of the Hebrew, given by 
Adolph Muhlman, leading baritone of the Metropolitan Opera 
Company and now one of his closest friends. 

Adolph Muhlman has had a long and successful career as an 
opera baritone and later as a master of voice culture. He was born 
in Schirave, Russia, received a Jewish and secular education under 
private tutorship, studied music at the Conservatory of Odessa and 
later in Vienna. He sang as guest artist with the leading opera 
companies in the music centers of Europe. He began at the Imperial 
Theatre of St. Petersburg, then sang at the Imperial Opera in 
Vienna, followed by six successive years at the Bresslauer Stadt 
Theatre, six years at Covent Garden, in London, and twelve years 
with the Metropolitan Opera Company, of New York. After so 
many brilliantly successful years on the stage, he retired and settled 
in Berlin. He gave instruction to large numbers of professional 
singers and students and acquired a reputation as a great pedagogue. 

382 



THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL 

In 1912, he came to Chicago at the invitation of Florenz Ziegfeld, 
head of the Chicago Musical College, to direct the vocal department 
of that extensive institution. In this capacity and later as head of 
the "Muhlman School of Vocal and Opera Training" he launched 
on their careers many prominent singers and opera artists. Since 
his arrival in Chicago he has been the musical critic for the "Abend- 
post." Mr. Muhlman is the founder and leader of the Mizpah 
Temple choir which won second prize in the Chicago Church 
Music Choir Contest in 1925. 

Between the years of 1910 and 1914 another interesting group of 
distinguished musical talents came to Chicago: Nathan Chevalier, 
and N. B. Emanuel were among them. Under the direction of Max 
RabinorT they organized a symphony orchestra, with Alexander 
Zukovsky as solo violinist. Mr. Zukovsky did not remain long with 
the organization, for he left to take his place as first violinist with 
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position and honor he enjoyed 
until about three years ago, when he resigned to travel abroad. 
Simon Bucharoff, a well known composer, came to the city in 1910 
and influenced Charles Dawes, Ambassador to Great Britain, to 
write the score of the opera "Lover's Knot." 

During the same period, Isador L. Buchhalter attracted the atten- 
tion of the musical world, for besides his vast knowledge of the 
science of music he evinced a profound erudition in other fields 
and possessed a keen imagination, all of which have won him a 
reputation as one of the outstanding pedagogues of the keyboard. 
Professor Horatio W. Parker, of Yale University, said of him: "In 
him are combined a marvelous analytical mind, an excellent musi- 
cian and a scholar." He manifests a truly Jewish quality in the 
manner in which he extends help to poor students. In an unosten- 
tatious way he has aided many indigent boys and girls to achieve 
their musical ambition. He too, like Rosenfeld, Zukovsky and 
other distinguished and generous artists, has given his time and 
talent to many noble enterprises. 

In a previous article I related the story of how Alexander Zukov- 
sky, with the aid of Mrs. Edwin Romberg, was instrumental in 
spreading classic music and bringing it within reach of the com- 

383 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

mon people. For many seasons he was the concert-master of the 
Ravinia Opera Orchestra and often he shared honors with Mr. 
Hasselman, director of the Ravinia Concerts, in wielding the baton 
and conducting the orchestra. During the twenty years that Zu- 
kovsky resided in this city he was acclaimed as its most popular 
artist, appreciated by all classes. After an absence of three years, 
spent in traveling through Europe, he returned to America and 
made his home in Hollywood, California. 

Esther Harris, founder and head of the Chicago College of Music 
for the past thirty years, has produced many outstanding artists, 
among them, the world famous Gitta Gradova, who spent her 
formative years under Miss Harris' tutorship. 

Madam Rosa Olitzka, a contralto, famous on the operatic stages 
of Europe and America about fifteen years ago, sang her vast reper- 
toire with the great opera singers of the age and was herself regarded 
as one of them. After retiring from the stage, she came to Chicago 
and opened a school for voice training which she is still conducting 
with great success. Madam Olitzka possesses an elusive quality 
which is sometimes called artistic temperament but which is in 
reality a vivacity and charm combined with an artistic soul. 

Over a long period of years, the concertmaster of the Chicago 
Symphony Orchestra has been a son of the covenent. Harry Weis- 
bach, Jacques Gordon and Mischa MischakofT have successively and 
successfully occupied that position. 

George Polacco, an Italian Jew, has merited distinction for years 
in one of the most exalted places in opera — that of conductor and 
director of the Chicago' Civic Opera Company. 

Alexander Kipnis, basso, has been associated with the Chicago 
Civic Opera Company and is regarded among its greatest artists. 
He married the daughter of Heniot Levy, a master of the piano 
and a pedagogue of great repute. 



XIV 

CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL ARTISTS 

As a great admirer of the arts, interested in all things that tend 

384 



CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL ARTISTS 

to promote Jewish culture and possessing a particular fondness for 
the city of my adoption, I have been deeply concerned in the devel- 
opment of many musical prodigies and have eagerly watched their 
coming and going. In the early nineties two young lads, whose 
parents were but recently arrived immigrants from Eastern Europe, 
became famous as pianists, while still attending the primary grade 
schools. They were George Shapiro and Isaac Levine. To their 
ranks came the talented musicians, Abe Scheineman, Bernard 
Nierman and Mable Lyons. This circle was further augmented 
by the arrival to the city of Sebastian Burnetti, the possessor of 
a fine baritone voice. Burnetti later joined the San Carlo Opera 
Company, where for several seasons he sang leading roles until 
he withdrew to become a teacher of voice culture. 

Myrtle Elvyn's career was meteor-like. A native Chicagoan, she 
studied with Wolfsohn and Gudowsky, and then went to Europe, 
where she was acclaimed in the leading musical centers as a second 
Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler. On her return she toured the country 
in piano recitals, attracting a great deal of favorable attention. But 
the poet who said: "Frailty, thy name is Woman!" knew whereof 
he spake, for Myrtle was faithless to her first love, the god of music 
and harmony, when she found a mortal being whom she married 
and bade farewell to her brilliant musical career. 

In 1915, Lillian Gresham, the daughter of Fred Grissheimer, for 
many years a prominent businessman of this city, and herself a 
native of Chicago, made her debut on the operatic stage with the 
Chicago Opera Company. Her sweet lyric soprano gave promise 
of a great operatic career. The season or two in which she sang 
with the company brought her many friends and admirers. She 
sang in important roles and the sweet flute-like quality of her voice 
made her a favorite among lovers of music. But the delicate vocal 
chords could not endure the heavy strain of raising her voice to 
the far corners of the vast auditorium and so Miss Gresham left 
the opera for work kinder to her lovely voice. 

In 1916, when the Civic Opera Company was organized, another 
gifted and highly talented young woman, a native of Chicago, made 
her debut with that splendid musical organization, Miriam Pruzan, 

385 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the wife of Dr. George Halperin, a practicing physician in this city. 
Madam Pruzan's extensive repertoire gave her an opportunity to 
sing many choice roles which she rendered ably and sympathetically. 
Her graceful bearing and charming personality brought her fame 
in a much shorter time than is usual in the world of opera. She 
held sway over large audiences for several seasons, but unfortu- 
nately she succumbed to an illness which confined her to her bed 
for a long time. When she recovered she had to give up singing 
on the advice of her physicians. And so another great talent was 
lost to the Chicago world of music. 

I have known Bessie Birdie Kaplan and Olga Kargau since their 
earliest childhood, and I have been following with profound inter- 
est the progress of each in her realm of art. They differ from each 
other in all things except that they are both priestesses in the temple 
of music; and even there each occupies a different position. Miss 
Kaplan gives expression to her artistic soul and delights her audi- 
ences through the medium of her instrument, the piano; Miss 
Kargau accomplishes the same with her voice. The former is a 
virtuoso, an artist of a high order in spite of her environment; the 
latter — because of her environment. 

Bessie Birdie Kaplan is the youngest child of Hyman Abbo and 
Yetta (Naman) Kaplan. Born in Chicago, she completed her pre- 
liminary education here and enrolled in the University of Chicago. 
She began to play the piano when barely five years old. She 
received the foundation for her musical career from many noted 
teachers, chief among them Rudolph Ganz and Victor Heinze. At 
the age of fifteen she was taken to Berlin, Germany, by an older 
sister, to further increase her knowledge and broaden her scope. She 
studied harmony with such world-famed masters as Hugo Kaun 
and August Spanuth. At the age of sixteen she made her debut 
with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with the renowned Dr. 
Kunwald conducting. 

A short time ago, Victor Heinze, who for many years has been 
living in Germany, visited the United States and Chicago. He 
heard Miss Kaplan play Beethoven's concerto in G Minor. For 
some moments after the last chords died away he remained silent 

386 



CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL ARTISTS 

in deep meditation. Finally he turned to her and told her that 
the mantle that fell from the shoulders of the late Fannie Bloom- 
field Zeisler, belonged to her, that she was the rightful heir to it. 
Miss Kaplan is mistress of the "Ivory Apes," her technique is fault- 
less, her touch is magic, and these coupled with a depth of feeling 
and vast understanding, make her one of the outstanding figures 
in the art of piano music. 

I have written: "She is an artist in spite of her environment." 
Miss Kaplan descends from a family which rightfully can be classed 
among the "Jewish Aristocracy." There is a chain of distinguished 
Rabbis on her mother's side as well as on her father's. It is some- 
what difficult to explain the attitude most Jews take toward musi- 
cians. While the knowledge of music has always been appreciated 
by Jews of all classes, a musical career for a man is considered 
undignified; for a woman it is degrading and an outrage against 
the purity and chastity in which the Jewish women should be held. 
Thus, while the girl was permitted to follow her inclinations and 
acquire a musical training, she was, to an extent, restrained from 
making use of her great gifts to entertain others. Even Nathan 
D. Kaplan, her brother, modern and cultured as he is, was unable 
to free himself from that old prejudice against a musical career for 
his sister. Meanwhile the girl concentrated her whole energy and 
fine intellect on her musical studies. Her natural modesty and 
inherent devotion to the members of her family subdued whatever 
rebellious spirit she may have had. Which seemed, for the time 
being, unfortunate, for at the all too few public appearances we 
have been vouchsafed, I have been impressed with Bessie Birdie 
Kaplan ; aside from her talent, she is a young woman of exceptional 
poise, softened by a touch of naivete and utterly lacking in that 
neurotic manifestation known as "artistic temperament." Her love 
for her art excells all her other passions and I anticipate that as 
soon as she realizes her ambition she will surpass even the expecta- 
tions of her friends. 

Olga Kargau was destined for an artistic career even before she 
was born. Her parents, Dr. Emanuel and Rose (Simon) Kargau, 
both keen admirers of the fine arts, watched eagerly for signs of 

387 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

artistic tendencies in their children. When Olga, the youngest of 
six, began at an early age to manifest an aptitude for self-expression, 
she was given every opportunity to develop her talents. The gods 
seemed to have heaped upon this girl their choicest gifts in un- 
wonted prodigality. She possessed a lovely voice with which she 
was able to weave a spell, either in song or in story. Nor was she 
denied physical beauty which she adorned with grace and modesty. 

Her parents enthusiastically encouraged her in her ambitions for 
a career. She studied music, vocal expression and dramatic art with 
serious concentration. Her own inclinations were towards the stage, 
as a dramatic actress, a career for which she was eminently fitted. 
Even as a child she displayed a remarkable histrionic ability. I 
remember with what precocious intensity, she interpreted such dra- 
matic thrillers as "Madam X," "Within the Law" and "Romance." 

Some years ago, I met my old friend, Sebastian Burnetti. He 
was enthusiastic over the discovery of a new lyric soprano who 
gave great promise. A young woman, Olga Kargau was soon to 
make her debut with the San Carlo Opera Company and he sug- 
gested that it would be worth my while to hear his new "find" 
sing Michaela, in Bizet's opera "Carmen." 

Her debut proved a splendid success, marred only by the absence 
of her father on this auspicious occasion. For Dr. Kargau who had 
looked forward with such eagerness to this very event, had departed 
this life a short time before. Miss Kargau remained with the San 
Carlo Company and sang many important roles, but her greatest 
thrill came when in 1927, she made her debut with the Chicago 
Civic Opera, singing "Nedda" in Leoncavallo's opera "Pagliacci." 
It was almost an unprecedented event in operatic circles, that a 
young woman whose entire musical education was obtained in 
Chicago, should be given a leading role for her debut. Her success 
was followed by another title role this time in the opera "Martha." 
Since then Miss Kargau has sung many leading roles, such as 
"Mimi" in "La Boheme," "Margarita" in "Faust," "Cho Cho San" 
in "Madam Butterfly" and other important parts in her repertoire. 

With an ambition gigantic in scope in so petite a person, Miss 

388 



CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL ARTISTS 

Kargau continues to study, augmenting her repertoire with new 

roles and training herself to flawless perfection. 

# * * # # 

For the past fifteen years the fine lyric soprano voice of Madam 
Irene Pavloska has lent beauty and richness to the presentations of 
the Chicago Civic Opera Company. Madam Pavloska was born 
in St. Johns, province of Quebec, Canada. Her parents, Davis and 
Pauline (Saxe) Levi were affiliated with the Orthodox community. 
Her mother was one of the greatest piano virtuosos in the domain 
of Canada, and from her the young girl received the elementary 
rudiments of music until at the age of eleven she was taken to 
Frankfort, Germany, to study further harmony and composition 
as well as modern languages. There it was discovered that she 
possessed a naturally lovely voice which she used to the delight 
of her intimate friends. At the age of eighteen she went to Paris 
to develop this talent. In 1914, Henry Savage, the American pro- 
ducer, while in Paris seeking a singer to star in the light opera 
"Sari," which he was to produce in America, saw and heard the 
young Pavloska and immediately engaged her for the part. In 
1915, she came to Chicago at the head of the company, to spend 
the season at the Illinois Theatre, where she proved a great success 
in the performance of "Sari." The great maestro, Campanini, heard 
her and sent for her to urge that she join the Chicago Grand Opera 
Company. The contract he offered her was almost too tempting 
for any young artist to withstand and besides he protested that 
she must waste no more time, but with all the inducements the 
maestro held out to her Madam Pavloska insisted she must fulfill 
her obligations to Mr. Savage and complete the season in "Sari." 
The following year she made her debut with the Chicago Opera 
Company in the role of "Musetta" in "La Boheme." Madam Pav- 
loska has been singing with that organization ever since, in sixty 
different roles and in four languages. 

While she renders her arias skillfully and with genuine feeling 
and pathos, she is by nature of a happy disposition and prefers the 
lighter types of music, such as ballads, sentimental love-songs and 
lyric poems. For that reason, whenever the opportunity comes to 

389 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

her, she runs away, if only for a short space of time, to frolic in 
light opera. Last summer she spent the season singing the leading 
part in the operetta "Rose Marie." Fortuantely for lovers of Grand 
Opera, she returned in the fall to fill her fifteenth season with the 
Chicago Civic Opera Company. 

# # # # # 

Alexander Lehman came to the United States early in the nine- 
ties and made his home in Chicago. His character is a complexity 
of several conflicting elements. Reared under the influence of his 
father, an eminent Rabbi in Germany, he retained much of the 
puritanic in his character; the external influence of his environment 
in a country that reached the highest peak of culture reacted on 
him, liberated his spirit and left him free of creed and dogma; the 
restless spirit of the artist made him the eternal wanderer who at 
no time or place finds himself at home. It is likely that he has never 
felt at home since he left the home of his father. 

As a master of the violin he performed his art before many au- 
diences, in many lands and frequently before royalty. He was 
offered the directorship of a great symphonic orchestra provided he 
would renounce his faith and embrace Christianity but he refused. 
He opened a studio in this city and in a short space of time became 
known as one of the finest instructors of the violin. Many of his 
erstwhile pupils have attained fame as virtuosi and some well- 
known as concert masters. 

Mr. Lehman is still vigorously and deeply engrossed in his art. 
The years that whitened his hair have not reduced his love for the 
violin or his interest in the science of music. At present he is the 
dean of the violin department of the Chicago College of Music. 

# # • # * 

For many years as spiritual leader of various communities Rabbi 
Louis Kuppin preached interesting sermons on the topics embrac- 
ing religion, ethics and literature. And not only was his voice weav- 
ing beautiful phrases and sentences, expounding religious truths, 
ethical ideals and literary concepts but with equally inspiring effect 
he performed operatic arias and lyrical compositions rendering 

390 



CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL ARTISTS 

them with the skill and charm of one who gave much of his time 
to the study of music and perfection of his voice. 

Louis Kuppin was born in Louisville, Ky., but he spent his boy- 
hood in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a young lad he gave evidence of a 
splendid voice and was sent to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music 
to develop his natural talent. When he completed his high school 
course he entered the University of Cincinnati and at the same time 
enrolled in the Hebrew Union College, without sacrificing his mu- 
sical studies. He graduated from the University in 1903 with the 
degree of B.A. and the same year he was ordained as Rabbi. He 
went to Italy and for two years pursued his musical studies under 
the great masters of Milan. Upon his return to the States he entered 
the Rabbinate but still retained his interest in music. For the past 
several years he has been a resident of Chicago, where he is suc- 
cessfully conducting a studio teaching vocal music and voice culture. 

TT "A* * TT •¥£ 

Vitaly Schnee is one of Chicago's latest acquisitions ; he is a pianist 
who masters the key-board in no ordinary fashion. He took the 
music critics by storm when he first played in this city over a decade 
ago and his appearances on the concert stage still attract large au- 
diences and are followed by exceptionally favorable reviews in the 
press. 

Vitaly Schnee, the son of Dr. Jacob and Bella (Mintz) Schnee, 
was born November 15, 1889, in Ekaterinoslave, Russia. In 1914 he 
graduated from the University of St. Petersburg as a civil engineer 
and a year later from the Imperial Conservatory of Music of the 
same city, where he studied under Mdm. Anna Espofr", a famous 
Russian pianist. 

His career was interrupted by military service, first in the army of 
the Czar and later under Kerensky after the revolution. Upon the 
expiration of the period of his military service he made a concert 
tour through the war-ridden provinces in Russia. Afterwards he 
went to Berlin, Germany, where he pursued his musical studies for 
three years and then he came to Chicago. Mr. Schnee is one of the 
pioneers in the art of modern music, a heritage from his native land. 

391 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

He is a splendid and able representative of the modern school and 
his influence is beginning to be felt in musical circles. 

# # # # # 

Leon Sametini is credited with a marvelous technique, a profound 
knowledge of music and a delicate touch. His name and reputa- 
tion as a violin virtuoso is often mentioned in the same breath with 
Elman, Heifetz and Zimbalist. 

Alexander Nahutin is an outstanding pedagogue in the art of 
voice culture and has furnished many recruits to the operatic stage. 

The number of Jewish musical prodigies in Chicago is too great 
for me to include them all and confronted with the large number 
I almost overlooked the names of Nina Mesurow-Minchen and 
Ben Paly, both of whom have contributed greatly to this city's 
reputation as a musical center. 

XV 

ROSA RAISA 

"The soul of music slumbers in the shell 
Till waked and kindled by the Master's spell 
And feeling hearts, touch them but lightly, pour 
A thousand melodies unheard before." 

Rosa Raisa (or Reitze Burstein, as she was called before she 
adopted the more euphonious and suitably picturesque name for 
her career) was born in the city of Bialestock. Her father, Herschel 
Burstein, was a trading contractor in modest circumstances. Her 
mother died when Reitze, the youngest of three children, was six 
years old. The love and tenderness of the father expanded to fill 
the place left vacant by the departed mother and so he became 
both father and mother to the children. His gentle goodness is 
one of Raisa's most delightful memories. She loves to recall the 
balmy days of spring and summer back in her earliest youth, when 
the little expeditions consisting of her father and his three children 
would set forth early every Saturday morning for the great forest 
lying a short distance from the city of Bialestock. Here they would 

392 



ROSA RAISA 

spend the entire day admiring the beauties of nature. Little Reitze 
would listen to the singing of the birds with the profoundest inter- 
est and often her rapture caused her to break forth in song. Her 
childish voice trilled out notes which mingled with those of the 
birds as together they proclaimed their sheer joy at being alive. 

There were so many pleasant things that could happen to a young 
girl with the gift of song in her heart — even if she weren't important 
enough to be invited to the wedding of the daughter of one of the 
most prominent Jewish citizens of the town. And the great Raisa 
again returns in memory to the episode of the wedding. She recalls 
the stir and bustle in the town, the breath-taking news that an 
orchestra was being imported from another town to furnish music 
for the jubilant occasion. Little Reitze does not resent the fact that 
her youth and social position did not claim an invitation to the 
festivities. She can still dance lightheartedly to the scene of the 
wedding, take her place with the many other children, beneath 
the open windows and drink in the music to her heart's content. 
And as she stands charmed by her proximity to so much beauty 
and color and sound, she loses herself completely and forgetting 
where she is, and without realizing what she is doing, lo! her voice 
joins the instruments, softly at first, then in a new wave of ecstacy 
it climbs, stronger and more glorious until it transcends the small 
orchestra. 

Meanwhile the guests within fall into an awed silence at the 
first few notes of the invisible singer. Someone motions to the 
orchestra to continue playing but on the faces of all is the expression 
of those who are witnessing the manifestation of a divine Presence. 
Only Bertha, a sister of the bride, does not believe in the supernat- 
ural and she recovers her presence of mind to go outside in search 
of the mortal owner of the divine voice. 

At this point the recollections of the great diva become somewhat 
vague. She sees herself folded in the embrace of an exquisitely clad 
person and hears herself plied with many requests at one time to 
sing more. She finds herself the center of attention in the wedding 
hall and is conscious only of a dreamlike pleasure as she sings again 
and again. And Bertha's voice penetrates the haze uttering the 

393 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

prophetic words: "My child, some day you will be one of the 
greatest opera singers!" 

When Raisa made her American debut in Baltimore, in 1914, 
Bertha, who was married and lived with her family in that city, 
recognized Raisa's photograph as that of Reitze Burstein. She at- 
tended the performance and the two women, whose position in life 
were reversed by the hand of a blind fate, renewed their acquaint- 
ance and became staunch friends. But I am anticipating my story. 
I must go back and relate how the same blind fate was weaving the 
threads of incident after incident — not always as happy as the one I 
just told — until she finally received universal acclaim and the 
wreath of laurel which belongs to genius was placed upon her brow. 
A cousin of hers was married to a dentist whose name was Paulo 
Wigdorchik, a man highly intelligent and endowed with a per- 
sonality that endeared him to all who knew him. As a lover of 
freedom and liberty Dr. Wigdorchik participated in revolutionary 
activities. One day the police suddenly invaded his home, searched 
every nook and corner and found forbidden literature. He was 
arrested and thrown into prison, leaving his wife and nine-month- 
old baby unprovided for and unprotected. Reitze, impulsive and 
sympathetic, moved into the home of her cousin to help take care 
of the child. Through the aid of influential friends, Paulo Wigdor- 
chik was finally liberated after remaining in prison for many 
months. As soon as he gained his freedom, he was furnished with 
a passport and other necessaries, and was speedily placed on a train 
whose destination he discovered to be Capri, Italy. 

While Dr. Wigdorchik was adjusting himself to the conditions 
and environment in the new country, and making preparations to 
send for his loved ones, a pogrom broke out in Bialestock. The 
home of Madam Wigdorchik was at the extreme opposite end of 
the city from where Reitze's father, sister and brother lived. Her 
first thoughts were for their safety. She took the baby in her arms 
and fled towards her father's home. However, she was intercepted 
by friends who dissuaded her from the folly of attempting to cross 
the town whose streets were rife with murder and the lust of hate. 
As she turned back towards her cousin's home she felt herself sud- 

394 



ROSA RAISA 

denly seized by a rough, powerful hand and she and the child were 
thrown into a cellar and a heavy door closed on them. In the 
darkness she could make out the outlines of other refugees and felt 
that for the present she and the child were safe. Raisa tells in a 
most realistic manner how in order to keep the baby's cries from 
being heard outside and so bring death and destruction on the 
others there in hiding, she pressed the child close to her bosom in an 
embrace that combined maternal concern for the child and an 
agony of fear for them all. 

When the storm passed and peace and quiet reigned once more 
in the streets of Bialestock, Madam Wigdorchik, the child and 
Raisa were placed on a train by the same friends who had helped 
the Doctor, and dispatched to Capri, Italy, where the family was 
reunited. One day Dr. Wigdorchik heard an exceptionally beau- 
tiful voice issuing from the room of his wife's cousin. Upon in- 
vestigation he discovered that Reitze was the unsuspected possessor 
of the glorious voice. 

Shortly after his arrival in Italy, Dr. Wigdorchik had formed 
the acquaintance of a highly cultured family, Ascarelli by name. 
To them he repaired with the news of his discovery and shortly 
after Reitze was invited to the home of the Ascarellis, where they 
heard her sing. They succeeded in interesting Barbara Marchisio, 
a renowned artist in the days of Adelina Patti, in their youthful 
friend and Raisa began her studies with Barbara Marchisio, in the 
Conservatory of Naples. Through her teacher she met Maestero 
Cleofonte Campanini, during the celebration of Verdi's Centenary, 
September 6, 1913. Her voice captivated him and under Campanini 
Raisa made her debut in Parma, Italy, in the leading role of 
"Oberto Conte di San Bonifacia," the first opera Verdi composed. 
It proved a tremendous success. She was selected by Toscanini to 
create the title role in Boito's "Nerone," which she sang in the 
Theatre Scala, in Milan; and also to sing in the principal role of 
"Turandot," the last opera composed by G. Puccini. 

In 1914, she came to America with Maestero Campanini, who 
became the Director of the Chicago Grand Opera Company. As 
soon as the law permitted she became a naturalized citizen and 

395 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

established her residence in Chicago, which city she regards as her 
home. She married the well-known baritone opera singer Giacomo 
Rimini, a native of Verona, Italy. His father, a prominent physi- 
cian, was the president of the "Communiti Israelitica" of Verona 
for more than twenty years. 

In America the prima donna goes on delighting new thousands, 
singing with the same joie de vivre that has characterized her 
music from the time of her childhood through the stormy, tempest- 
tossed experiences in her girlhood until she finally achieved her 
great success and emerged the diva before whom the inhabitants of 
two continents bowed, a queen with the golden scepter of a divine 
voice which commands the homage of all. 

XVI 
FORM AND COLOR 

The plastic arts are the latest attraction for Jewish youth. Young 
Israel began to flock to them within the past quarter of a century. 
The use of pigment on canvas and the graving of images in stone 
and bronze was heretofore alien to Jewish genius, because they were 
forbidden by Moses, the law giver. To this fact may be traced the 
essential difference between the culture of the Hellenists and that 
of the Hebrews. The Hellenists dedicated themselves to the wor- 
ship of physical beauty, out of which emerged die Grecian arts, 
while the Hebrews were consecrated to the worship of the spiritual 
and intellectual, to which they gave expression in the creation of a 
system of morals and ethics, and a philosophy. 

In the history of the plastic arts, we find very few sons of the 
covenant who distinguished themselves in either sculpture or paint- 
ing. There are a few isolated cases, but to most lovers of art, even 
they are seldom known as Jews, with the possible exception of 
Israels and Antokolsky. It will be interesting therefore if I quote a 
few short extracts from a volume published three years ago, from 
the pen of a German critic, W. Uhde. The title of the book is 
"Picasso and the French Tradition" and the author says: "It would 
be unfortunate if they (the Jews) came to govern Europe, and 

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FORM AND COLOR 

equally unfortunate if their influence were wholly lacking. ... In 
the history of modern painting, their influence has been extraor- 
dinary. More than three-quarters of all art dealers, critics and col- 
lectors are Jews. It is they who have promptly recognized the 
painters of real worth, have defended them and made them famous. 
... It is due to Jewish influence and to Jewish money that genuine 
modern masterpieces have found their way into the museums. . . . 

"Although their comprehension of paintings is remarkable, they 
have not achieved great success. Picasso was an isolated example of 
his day in Paris. Today there are Jews who are bringing important 
contributions to European paintings. . . ." 

Uhde is not a Jew, and his attitude towards them is neither too 
friendly nor unfriendly and therefore his statements concerning 
Jews in their relation to plastic arts are free from bias and devoid 
of prejudice. There are some critics who go even further than 
Uhde; they maintain that "Jews have come to the rescue of con- 
temporary art by breaking the 'shackles' of French tradition." We 
need not go as far as all that, but it is remarkable indeed to note the 
rapid progress Jewish energy, coupled with genius, has made in a 
short space of time, in a hitherto completely foreign field. 

Chicago Jews contribute their share to the enhancement and 
preservation of the plastic arts, as patrons, collectors and critics as 
well as artists. Unquestionably the leading collector and patron of 
the fine arts among the Jews of Chicago is Max Epstein. He was 
born in Eisenoch, Saxony. His father and mother, however, were 
at the time of his birth American citizens, sojourning in that city 
for a visit. Six months after his birth his parents returned to their 
home in New York and in that city their son was reared and edu- 
cated. In 1900, he came to Chicago and engaged in the manufacture 
of car tanks. The business grew to enormous proportions and is 
now the largest of its kind in the whole world. Mr. Epstein has 
devoted a great deal of his wealth to various kinds of philanthropies 
but his two great interests lie in combating human ailments and 
in spreading the fine arts. Incidentally his own private collection of 
sculpture, rare canvases of old and modern masters, is one of the 
finest in Chicago. 

397 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

In 1917, Mr. Epstein gave one hundred thousand dollars to the 
University of Chicago for the establishment of a clinic for the treat- 
ment of various diseases, by the best specialists available. Shortly 
after he endowed the clinic with fifty thousand dollars. In 1926 he 
donated an additional sum of one hundred thousand dollars for a 
development fund. Another hundred thousand dollars was present- 
ed to the Lying-in-Hospital. In all Max Epstein provided the city 
of Chicago with four clinics. He serves as a director of the Jewish 
Charities, Michael Reese Hospital and the Chicago division of the 
American Red Cross. He is a Trustee of the Chicago Art Institute 
and chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the Century of Prog- 
ress, the World's Fair of 1933. Recently he was elected a Trustee 
of the University of Chicago. 

In the summer 1929, Mr. Epstein addressed a letter to the Board 
of Trustees of the University of Chicago, of which the following is 
an extract: 

"The achievements of the University of Chicago in the field of 
medicine and science have been noteworthy. Its researches have 
contributed materially to our knowledge of the laws of nature. Its 
encouragement of research and study of the various sciences has 
attracted to itself a body of earnest investigators, teachers and stu- 
dents, whose efforts have resulted in the dissemination of a wider 
and more intelligent understanding of the principles, laws and aims 
of science." 

In the next paragraph Max Epstein tells of the great importance 
of arts, the position they occupy in civilization, the part they play 
in the general culture of a people and of the inspiration which they 
bring to humanity. The third paragraph reads in part as follows: 

"The first step to this end is to provide the necessary environment 
and facilitate for such work, I am therefore pleased to avail myself 
of this opportunity, and will provide the funds for the erection of 
an Art Building. ... To erect such building I hereby agree con- 
tribute the sum of one million dollars, payable as and when the 
money is required. ... I suggest that this building be called and 
known as — 

398 



FORM AND COLOR 

'Institute of Fine Arts of the University of Chicago. 
Founded by Max and Leola Epstein.' ,! 

Mr. Epstein is making a wonderful contribution to the culture of 
Chicago and to all who will come to the University of Chicago. 

# # # # # 

The dean of Chicago Jewish artists is Sam Ostrowsky. If not the 
oldest in age, he is one of the oldest residents here. His reputation as 
a distinguished artist and master of colors has gone forth beyond 
the confines of this country. He came to Chicago a little more than 
twenty years ago, while still in his "teens." He was born in a small 
town in the province of Kiev, Russia. At an early age he was sent 
to the city of Kiev to take up the study of the plastic arts, an ambi- 
tion which was his from earliest boyhood. While he made great 
progress in his studies, the oppression and persecution was more 
than the sensitive soul of the artist could endure. Sam Ostrowsky 
left his native land and came to America and settled in this city. I 
met him shortly after his arrival ; he was a lovable boy with dreamy 
eyes and glowing red cheeks. He often came to my home and 
poured out to me his dreams and anticipations for the future. He 
began at once to study at the Art Institute, but his funds were 
meager, and were soon exhausted. Often he went hungry so that 
he might scrape together enough money to pay for his lessons and 
painting materials. 

Ostrowsky did not remain long in Chicago; in 1912 he left for 
Paris and entered the Academie Julian. With great zeal he devoted 
himself to his art studies, under the guidance of Jean Paul Laurense 
and after he acquired an extraordinary technique he gave free flight 
to his imagination. He later exhibited in the Salon de Artistes Fran- 
cais, as a result of which the critics took notice of this Russian- 
American Jewish lad. He came forcibly under the influence of 
impressionism, especially in his first landscapes which, as one of his 
French critics said: "are characterized by the fluid luminosity of 
a rare delicacy." 

Let us continue to quote the same critic, J. Bielinky, from a re- 
view he recently published in a French journal, under the title 

399 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

"A Jewish-American Painter in Paris." After telling his readers 
about Ostrowsky's fame, his exhibits in America, and his decora- 
tions for the Jewish Art Theatre, he proceeds: "Now what is the 
secret of this brilliantly conducted career? 

"It is precisely in the fact that the art of Ostrowsky dips into the 
highest tradition which dates from Cezanne and that he knows how 
to give a vibrating soul to his compositions, to his landscapes as well 
as to his portraits. And if the tradition is of French origin, the soul 
of his work is profoundly Jewish. 

". . . To bring out the soul and the intimate character of a land- 
scape and to separate them from their material contours, to 
heighten the nobility of a face by the concentration of its most inti- 
mate sentiments such is Ostrowsky in his painting, which while 
avoiding completely the sterility of academism, refuses equally to 
embrace the formulae of super modernism, with its researches 
purely cerebral and anti-esthetic. 

"His portraits are luminous specimens of his art. His 'Nostalgie' 
is a Jewish work of art of a profound conception, his 'Still Lifes' 
offer a symphony of colors, still more enhanced by the absence of 
perspective. S. Ostrowsky has particularly understood the intimacy 
of the French landscape and in this domain he falls into the ranks 
of the group of landscape artists that are purely French. 

"S. Ostrowsky is forging his personality by a vast experience lived 
in the art of the landscapes, thus furnishing to his American col- 
leagues a striking lesson of modern art conceived without abstrac- 
tions and interpreted in the good road traced by Cezanne." 

XVII 

JEWISH ART AND ARTISTS 

For a better understanding and a deeper appreciation of Jewish art 
and artists, we must draw a line of demarcation between the artists 
and their art. Not all Jewish artists have produced Jewish art; they 
are divided into two separate groups with tendencies somewhat 
opposed to each other. Both groups are composed of good, bad and 
indifferent artists and in both camps are to be found followers of 

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JEWISH ART AND ARTISTS 

all the various schools and tendencies known to the plastic arts: 
academicians, naturalists, expressionists, impressionists, futurists and 
cubists; followers of Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh. 
Their difference then lies in the attitude towards art from a Jewish 
point of view. The members of one group, unquestionably the 
larger of the two, consider themselves primarily as artists; their 
Jewishness they regard as a mere incident and therefore of no con- 
sequence in their vocation. The hammer and chisel, the brush and 
spatula they wield in the pursuit of a universal art, and the term 
"universal" they emphasize to the exclusion of everything that 
might have a Jewish character. On the other hand, the members of 
the second group run to the other extreme; they make Jewish art 
a cult. They deem it sacrilege to produce a canvas, statue or etching 
the theme of which is not based on Jewish history, tradition or 
legend. The outstanding artist of the latter school in America is 
Todros Geller, of Chicago. 

Geller was born in Vinitza, Ukraine, July i, 1889. At a tender 
age a passion for drawing was awakened in him. Soon after he 
completed his elementary education he entered a private academy 
of art in the city of Odessa, where he zealously devoted himself to 
the study of its various phases. Conditions in his native country 
impelled his parents to leave and in 1905 he came with them to 
Canada and settled in Montreal, where he enrolled in the art school 
of the Conseil des Arts et Manufactures. Five years later he moved 
to Winnipeg, where he married, and in 191 8 he came to Chicago 
with his wife and child. For five years he continued his studies at 
the Chicago Art Institute under the instruction of Seiffert and 
John Norton. 

Besides being a fine painter, with a splendid eye for color, Geller 
is a versatile artist. He has done magnificent woodcarvings, wood- 
cuts and etchings, all of which have been received with more than 
favorable comment by art critics and an appreciative public. His 
genius is similar to that of the novelist, except that his medium is 
color and form instead of words. Geller tells a story in every can- 
vas, statuette and etching. He is extremely modern, and modern 
stories told by real artists are not always pleasant stories; Geller is 

401 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

a real artist. And yet, there is one inconsistency in his modernism 
and story telling which is almost paradoxical. Modern stories are 
free from preachment; art for art's sake permits no propaganda. 
Geller's stories carry a moral which is doubly potent, they are 
steeped in Jewish tradition and dipped in the "Weltschmerz." 

As I turn the pages of his Album which contains woodcuts of 
seven Ghetto characters I am reminded of the words written by 
Ludwig Boerne, on reading Heine's fragment novelle "Der Rabbi 
von Bachrach." Boerne writes: "He poured out the vast Jewish 
sorrow." Geller too poured out the vast Jewish sorrow in these 
Ghetto types. For a moment I am relieved from the vast sorrow as 
my eye falls on the "dancing Chassid," but only for a moment. I 
am soon reminded of the verse of M. Scharkansky, quoted in an 
earlier chapter: 

"You think he is happy? 
No, your judgment is wrong; 
In a voice sad and low, 
He chants a wistful song." 

Geller's imagination never turns to the beauties of nature for in- 
spiration. He never places upon his canvas scenes or landscapes. He 
is the poet of realism, the artist who sees the miseries of life — and of 
Jewish life at that — beset by a thousand misfortunes. One of his 
most dramatic works is the painting he calls "The Cradle Song." 
He depicts therein a story of stark tragedy which cannot fail to 
move the beholder. His works may not appeal to all esthetic tastes, 
but they contain a force which compels one to turn backward as 
he passes and look at them again and again. Geller is a sincere 

artist who uses his talent to give expression to his ideals in life. 

# # # # # 

One of Cezanne's epigrams is particularly applicable to the three 
artists to whom the following few pages are devoted; he said: 
"What entices most in art is the personality of the artist himself." 
Emil Armin is the first and foremost of Chicago Jewish artists 
whose personality attracts us. I have heard it said that Roumania 

402 



JEWISH ART AND ARTISTS 

is the birth place of two great Jews: Dr. Moses Gaster and the late 
Dr. Schechter; I would add Emil Armin as a third. His tall, lean 
form that moves with quiet freedom and ease, his thoughtful mien 
and serious countenance bear not the slightest trace of unconven- 
tionality one associates with artists. In his dreamy eyes one sees the 
poet in him, the soul that challenges the Creator in its efforts to 
improve upon and beautify that which God created. In him the 
flesh and the spirit, the shell and the kernel are in perfect harmony; 
he typifies the old Latin maxim: "A sound mind in a sound body." 
Emil Armin was born on a farm in Roumania about forty-nine 
years ago. He spent his early years out in the fields, meadows and 
forests. His intimate friends were the birds, the creatures of the 
woods and fields, the flowers, grass and trees. He was a sort of 
masculine counterpart of Rima, Hudson's lovely heroine in "Green 
Mansions." All the living beauties in nature found a place in his 
poetic and artistic soul and he arrays them on his canvas with sym- 
pathy and understanding. On rare occasions, when surrounded by 
his friends, Armin lapses into deep meditation. On close observa- 
tion one may find lurking in the deep corners of his eyes a certain 
sadness, caused not by his own sorrows — he is suffering the "labor 
pains of creation." He is probably experiencing the same struggle 
to which Yehoash gave expression in his poem "The Unborn Song" : 

"Ah, song unborn! 
Your spirit I cannot capture, 
Though your image I behold 
Your soul I can't unfold; 
Song of joy and rapture, 
Ah, Unborn Song!" 

Armin is a modernist and as he lives so does he paint: with per- 
fect ease and freedom. Due to his early environment, he prefers to 
paint landscapes, flowers, animals and primitive people, in colors 
always soft and warm. He is master of woodcarving no less than 
he is with oils and water colors. Many critics insist that there is a 
strong resemblance between him and Van Gogh. They trace the 

403 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

similarity to the divided surface and the zigzagging lines which 
abound in the works of both artists. They find also a strong like- 
ness in the choice of colors both use, particularly in the higher tones. 

Cezanne once said: "There are no schools in art, there is either 
good or bad art." Although Armin is a follower in direct tradition 
of Post-impressionism, on close analysis one finds that his art is 
strictly Arminesque. 

Just as Armin is likely to pull out of his pocket his harmonica 
when it is the least expected of him and begin to play a merry jig, 
so also does he love to play with his art, combining frequently 

on the canvas or in sculpture the sublime with the grotesque. 

# # # # # 

One cannot consider Chicago artists without including Beatrice S. 
Levy. Born in Chicago, educated in its schools, fired by its history 
and inspired by its physical aspect, she is literally a Chicago product. 
As the child of cultured parents she was brought up in an atmos- 
phere of culture and refinement and since her earliest childhood 
has had an appreciation for beauty and estheticism inculcated within 
her. She made her debut in the world of art in 1915, when she 
entered the Panama-Pacific exhibition and one of her etchings 
received honorable mention. In 1923 she was awarded the Robert 
Rice Jenkins' prize at the Art Institute for a painting entitled "Jack- 
son Park Beach." In 1928 she won the gold medal of the Chicago 
Society of Artists, with the canvas "In Corsica." In 1930 she won 
honorable mention at the International Art Institute of Etchings, 
with an etching entitled "Orchestra Hall." Miss Levy is no ex- 
tremist, she finds merit in every school. She has received all of her 
training in Chicago, with the exception of one winter which she 
spent in New York, studying under the master Vajtech Preissig. 
Beatrice Levy is well known and her work is highly appreciated in 
all art circles. 

-7T tt tP *)r * 

William S. Schwartz is outstanding not only as a versatile artist in 
color and form but also the possessor of a tenor voice of unusual 
quality. His presence always calls to my attention the absurdity of 

404 



JEWISH ART AND ARTISTS 

the fallacy that all men are born equal. When I view some of his 
paintings and hear him sing I become convinced that communism 
is based on an unsound premise for nature herself distributes her 
bounty unequally; to some men she gives prodigally and others she 
overlooks and ignores altogether. William Schwartz was a favorite 
of the muses who bestowed on him their choicest gifts. 

Schwartz was born in the province of Wilna, February 23, 1896. 
His early education he received in the Cheder, where he also pre- 
pared himself for admission to the Gymnasium. At the age of 
twelve he entered the school of arts in Wilna. He remained there 
four years. Although that institution gave him a full scholarship 
he was denied admission in the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg. 
In 1913 he came to the United States; for ten months he lived in 
New York and tried his hand at all sorts of manual labor, but could 
get no start. A brother living in Omaha, Neb., sent for him and 
found him employment as an exterior decorator and at the same 
time he sang in a synagogue, but the income from both positions 
was insufficient to permit the realization of great desire, to become 
an artist. The economic struggle was terrific. He. came to Chicago 
with ten dollars in his possession, which lasted ten weeks; the 
greatest part of that precious sum being spent on car fares as he 
searched for a job. After many months of hunger and privation he 
finally succeeded in gaining admission to the Art Institute. He won 
a three-year scholarship. From here on his voyage on the sea of 
life became smooth; he undertook a musical course of study and 
for three successive seasons he was engaged by the Bohemians of 
Chicago to sing the leading roles in Smetana's operas. 

Schwartz began to exhibit his canvases while he was still a student 
in the Art Institute. Since then he has exhibited in every large 
community of the United States and Canada and everywhere the 
critics acclaimed him a great artist. His canvases can be found in 
every prominent art gallery. He has won numerous prizes in na- 
tional exhibits. 

# # # # # 

Boris Anisfeld is an artist-painter of considerable fame which he 
brought with him to our city from Russia, his native land, and from 

405 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

the Latin Quarter of Paris. Two years ago he was invited to Chi- 
cago to become a member of the faculty of the Art Institute, a 
position he has been gracing with dignity and honor. 

Louis Ritman is a Chicago product. His early dreams to express 
himself in form and color were nursed here and his early training 
began in the Art Institute of this city and in the Chicago Academy 
of Fine Arts. From here Ritman went to Philadelphia and there he 
earned a scholarship which took him to Paris. In the world's capital 
of art his talent and ability were soon recognized and his canvases 
were exhibited in many salons and received many prizes. He re- 
turned to Chicago and is now serving as a member on the faculty of 

the Art Institute. 

# *_- # # * 

There is a long list of names among the fairer sex who took up 
plastic arts but few of them have attained fame; they usually dabble 
with the insignificant things after the novelty wears off; the excep- 
tion is Belle Goldschlager, a young woman more than talented as 
an artist. She is a Chicagoan by birth and education. A short time 
ago one of her canvases won a prize at an exhibit held at the Art 
Institute. Miss Goldschlager is still very young and charming and 
the possessor of fine imagination, a keen eye for the blending of 
colors and an appreciation for the beautiful which she crowns with 
a deep and sincere earnestness in her work. 

Ivy Rose, Louis Weiner, Abe Weiner, Jerome Blum, Albert Block, 
Sidney Loeb, Leo Lubin, Louis Ferstadt, Sam Clastoner, Alex Ray- 
mond Katz, Charles Kellner, Morris Topchinsky, William Jacobs, 
Jacob Schiff, Flora Schoenfeld, A. L. Pollack and others whose 
names have escaped, are all artists to be reckoned with. As many 
of them have left for other pastures they can no longer be consid- 
ered Chicagoans, but they undoubtedly received some inspiration 
here and reciprocally shed some of the aura of their achievement 

on this community. 

# # # # # 

In 1924, when Calvin Coolidge completed the unexpired term of 
President Harding and became a candidate on the Republican 
ticket, the campaign committee was eager to procure a portrait in 

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JEWISH ART AND ARTISTS 

oils of the candidate, one that could be used for publicity purposes. 
A contest was arranged, open to all American artists, from which 
the best likeness of Mr. Coolidge was to be selected. A tremendous 
number of paintings were submitted from all parts of the country. 

In Dallas, Texas, there lived a modest unassuming young man of 
thirty, an illustrator named John Doctoroff. He gathered together 
about twenty-five different photographs of Mr. Coolidge and made 
a careful study of the different facial expressions and poses and then 
spread a canvas on the easel and set to work to produce in oils the 
composite impressions the photographs made on him. The portrait 
was sent to the campaign committee and was selected as the best 
and most accurate likeness of President Coolidge. Soon John Doc- 
toroff was acclaimed the greatest portrait artist in the country. 

He came to Chicago to paint Charles G. Dawes, the running mate 
of Mr. Coolidge, and his temporary studio was literally besieged by 
wealthy and representative citizens who were eager to be painted 
by John Doctoroff. He decided to remain in Chicago. When Her- 
bert Hoover became a presidential candidate, John Doctoroff was 
summoned to Palo Alto, Cal., to paint his portrait, also for cam- 
paign purposes. From there he travelled to the home town of Mr. 
Curtis, candidate for vice president, on a similar mission. Today 
the clientele of the luxurious studio of Doctoroff is almost a social 
register of the elite of this city. All the great and wealthy who desire 
to perpetuate themselves in color and pigment come to his studio. 
But John DoctorofT, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, is as 
modest and unassuming today as he was before he achieved his 
fame. 

*fF tF t\F "tF t\* 

My original plan was to bring this record up to date and conclude 
this history, based on my personal recollections, with the events of 
the present day, but when I reached the last days of the year 1929 
and the early days of 1930 and saw the undoing of the Jewish Com- 
munity, the collapsing of the fine institutions which were built up 
in the past forty-five years; when I observed how many who but 
yesterday were the possessors of great wealth which they used for 
the benefit of the community, found themselves in one single night 

407 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 

reduced to poverty and want; when I saw the gloom and darkness 
that enshrouded the spirit of man, I concluded to stop my narrative 
right there and go no further. Therefore the history ends at that 
period; except to record one cheerful event in the life of the Jews 
of this city and state that occurred in the past seven months: in 
November, 1932, the State of Illinois elected by an overwhelming 
majority Henry Horner, former Judge of the Probate Court of 
Cook County, to the Governorship of this important Common- 
wealth. Elsewhere in these pages I had occasion to comment upon 
his great ability, honesty and sincerity of purpose as well as his de- 
votion to every cultural movement and to the progress of his people. 
I can not close without making mention at least of this unprece- 
dented distinction awarded to a Jew in Illinois and pointing out the 
fact that his election paves the way for even greater honors for 
other Jews; for it will come to pass that race will in no way be a 
barrier to those meriting exalted rank. 

(The End) 



408 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Aaron, Charles L., 86. 

Abbott, W. Rufus, 295. 

Abt, Jacob, 51. 

Abramowich, Rabbi, 90. 

Abramowitz, Dr. A. E., 271. 

Abrahams, Emanuel, 212, 314-315. 

Abrahams, Meyer, 75. 

Adams, Franklin P., 368. 

Addams, Miss Jane, 17, 48, 184. 

Adelson, Mrs., 161. 

Adler, Dr. Cyrus, 279. 

Adler, Dr. Felix, 27. 

Adler, Mrs. Henry, 41. 

Adler, Jacob, 151. 

Adler, Max, 197, 378-379-380. 

Adler, Samuel, 33. 

Ager, Simon, 277. 

Alpiner, Ben W., 314, 300, 313. 

Alshuler, Judge Samuel, 108-109-110. 

Alshuler, Ben, 109-110. 

Alshuler, George, 109. 

Alshuler, Miss, 109, in. 

Alshuler, Jacob, 109-110. 

Alshuler, Mrs. Samuel, no. 

Altgeld, Governor J. P., 10. 

Amberg, David M., 86. 

American, Miss Sadie, 41. 

Andrews, Prof., 50. 

Anisfeld, Boris, 406. 

Anixter, Miss Sarah, 142. 

Anixter, Rabbi Eliezer, 6, 56. 

Ansky, S., 161. 

Antin, Miss Mary, 162. 

Antonow, A., 248. 

Aren, Dr. Michael L., 49-50-51, 73, 

104. 
Aren, Mrs. Michael L., 50, 73. 
Arkin, J., 185. 
Arkin, S., 103. 
Armin, Emil, 403-404. 



Aronson, Aaron, 123, 162. 

Arvey, Jacob, 195, 310, 315. 

Asher, Max, 86. 

Austrian, Joseph, 22. 

Avery, Sewel L, 295. 

Auerbach, Mrs. Ben, 239. 

Auerbach, Harry J., 180-181-183-184- 

185-186. 
Auerbach, Olgar, 184. 

Bachmetoff, S., 190. 

Babinsky, Jacob, 346-347. 

Balaban, Barney, 267-268-269. 

Balaban, Israel, 267-268. 

Balaban, Prof. Meyer, 283, 362. 

Ballenberg, A. G., 141, 315. 

Bamberger, Prof. G., 21. 

Barnett, Moses, 53.' 

Baumgarden, B., 158. 

Baumgarten, N., 104. 

Berfield, Joseph, 32. 

Beifeld, Morris, 22. 

Barnett, H. M., 53, 102-103, 157, 160- 

161. 
Becker, A. G., 26-27, 2 9'3°> J 37> 281, 

288. 
Becker, James H., 30, 287-288. 
Berger, Harvey, 317. 
Berger, M., 162. 
Berkman, Harry, 170, 235. 
Berlin, Rabbi Mayer, 224. 
Berkson, Jacob,, 103-104, 161. 
Berkson, Joseph M., 9, 161. 
Berkson, Maurice, 86. 
Berlin, Louis, 36. 
Berman, Ben D., 119. 
Bernstein, Abraham A., 15, 227. 
Bernstein, H. H., 227. 
Berkovitz, Mrs. Sarah, 323. 
Bernstein, Fred, 309. 



411 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



Bernstein, Gottfried B., 87. 

Bernstein, Fred, 307. 

Birnbaum, Rabbi, 272. 

Bisno, Abraham, 14-60. 

Blount, Dr. Emma, 49. 

Blume, Israel, 353. 

Blume, Jerome, 406. 

Blum, August, 22. 

Blumenfeld, Max, 314. 

Blumenthal, Baruch, 15, 75. 

Blaustein, Dr. David, 166, 184, 234, 

291. 
Berkman, Mrs. Harry, 233-234. 
Bleichman, Clara, 339. 
Bolotin, H., 161. 
Bomash, Louis, 266. 
Bonfield, Capt. John, 10. 
Bodenheimer, Maxwell, 365. 
Bovshover, 350. 
Buchhalter, Isador L., 383. 
Bucharoff, Simon, 383. 
Brown, Bernard J., 92-93. 
Brown, Mrs. Bernard J., 92. 
Bogdansky, 342-343. 
Braun, Benjamin, 87. 
Brown, David A., 172. 
Blech, Dr. Gustav, 99-100. 
Block, Albert, 406. 
Brandeis, Justice L. D., 245-246, 248- 

249-250, 302-303. 
Bloch, Charles, 359, 363. 
Breckenridge, Miss, 205. 
Block, Eman J, 141. 
Budzinsky, Rabbi M., 160. 
Braude, Adolph, 53, 119. 
Braude, Paul, 98. 
Bendex, Max, 381. 
Brown, Isidor, 312. 
Braude, Rabbi Abraham S., 6. 
Bogan, Boris D., 82. 
Broislow, Louis, 266. 
Brenner, Nathan T., 315. 
Bloch, Charles S., 22. 
Benjamin, Rabbi Samuel, 272. 
Block, Charles E., 22. 
Bayarsky, Peter, 1 82-1 83-1 84-1 85-1 86. 



Breakstone, Dr. Benjamin H., 188, 

2 13-2 14-21 5-21 6-217, 237, 334. 
Breakstone, Esther, 215. 
Bregstone, Mrs. Philip P., 243-244. 
Bregstone, Gertrude M., 98. 
Bregstone, Selig, 215. 
Bregstone, Mrs. Selig, 215. 
Bregstone, Miss Sarah R., 98. 
Burr, Maurice, 104. 
Burnetti, Sebastian, 388. 
Brode, Leah, 348. 
Brested, Prof. James, 50. 
Bulliet, C. J., 37. 
Bensholem, 353. 
Bernson, Fred, 74. 

Cahan, Ab, 60-61. 

Cahn, Ab, 257. 

Callner, Milton H., 269. 

Carry, Edward F., 295. 

Cohn, Dr. Hyman, 366. 

Cohn, Lester, 366. 

Cohen, Archie H., 310. 

Cohn, Mrs. Ezra, 105. 

Cohen, Jacob H., 248. 

Cohen, Rabbi Aaron, 146. 

Cohen, Jacob, 119. 

Cohen, R. L., 119. 

Cohen, Wolf, 119. 

Cohn, William, 103. 

Cohen, Jacob, 9, 103, 119, 161. 

Cohen, Harris, 161. 

Cermak, Anton J., 320, 323. 

Cohen, Samuel, 161. 

Cohen, I., 161. 

Copeland, Joseph, 50. 

Cowen, Israel, 20, 22, 32, 86, 104, 108. 

Chapman, Manuel, 371-372. 

Cohn, Harris, 102-103-104. 

Clastoner, Sam, 406. 

Cohen, Benjamin E., 311. 

Donnelly, Thomas E., 295. 
Daiches, Bell T., 16. 
Daniels, Josephus, 248. 



412 



INDEX 



Daskel, Rabbi Benjamin, 149. 

David, Judge, Joseph B., 304-305. 

Davidson, Major, 99-100. 

Davis, James, 189, 228. 

Davis, Mrs. Samuel Davis, 104. 

Davis, Mrs. Benjamin, 104, 232. 

Davis, Pesach, 103, 228. 

Davis, Abel, 113-114, 228-229-230. 

Davis, Dr. Haim I., 86, 230, 231. 

Dawes, Rufus C, 295. 

Dushkin, Dr. Alex, 148, 297-298-299. 

Deinard, Dr. Sam N., 144. 

Dreyfus, Mrs. Maurice, 141. 

Dryfus, Capt. Alfred, 87-88. 

Drury, John, 37. 

Doctoroff, John, 407. 

Decker, Alfred, 293. 

Deneen, Charles S., 318. 

Dimov, Ossip, 357-358. 

Daniels, Isaac, 150. 

Darrow, Clarence S., 50, 80, 226. 

De Haas Jacob, 231, 245-246, 303. 

Dubow, J., 258. 

Dolnick, Dr. Max, 223. 

Deutsch, Samuel, 141. 

De Lee, Jos. B., 200. 

De Lee, Sol T., 22. 

De Witte, Count, 79. 

Degan, Mrs. Louis, 120. 

Deutelbaum, Leopold, 141-142, 275. 

Despres, Samuel, 316. 

Deitsch, Mattes, 352. 

Dever, Mayor, William, 316. 

Eller, Morris, 53, 314-317. 

Eliassof, Dr. Herman, 22, 73, 256. 

Edelstein, H., 185. 

Edelman, Judge Leon, 307-308. 

Einhorn, Rabbi, 7. 

Engel, George, 11-12. 

Eliel, Levie, 22. 

Eckstein, Louis, 375-376-377. 

Edelstadt, David, 350. 

Emerich, Frank, 365. 

Emerich, Martin, 312-313. 

Emerich, Mrs., 41. 



Edelstein, Jacob S., 314. 

Elman, Misha, 392. 

Epstein, B. F., 311-313- 

Epstein, Rabbi Azriel, 147, 158-160. 

Epstein, Rabbi Ephraim, 224, 248, 

263. 
Epstein, Joseph, 53. 
Ettelson, Samuel A., 314-315-316. 
Engelhart, Benj., 192. 
Epstein, Jacob W., 314. 
Epstein, Louis I., 315. 
Epstein, Max, 198-200, 397-398-399. 
Epstein, Mrs. Max, 198-200, 399. 
Elson, Nathan, 93. 
Errant, Joseph, 315. 

Fisher, Judge Harry M., 215, 236- 

237> 3 00 > 3°9- 
Feinberg, Judge Michael, 306. 

Fishkin, Dr. E. A., 120. 

Fielden, Samuel, n. 

Fishkin, H., 161. 

Fischer, Adolph, 11-12. 

Feldman, Abraham,' 49. 

Fischer, Rabbi, 219. 

Fels, Harry, 49. 

Farber, Wm., 224, 248. 

Foreman, Milton J., 22, 315. 

Feder, L., 161. 

Fifer, Gov., 12. 

Farroll, Barnett, 104. 

Forman, Oscar G., 22. 

Fischel, Albert, 22. 

Fleischman, Richard J., 141. 

Farwell, John V., 295. 

Fels, Dr. Leo, 49. 

Foreman, Edwin G., 280. 

Ferstadt, Louis, 406. 

Frank, Jacob, 316. 

Friend, Judge Hugo M., 306. 

FreehofT, Dr. Solomon B., 176, 258. 

Fichman, Jacob, 349. 

Friedman, I. K., 120, 287, 364-365. 

Frankel, Dr. A., 190. 

Freund, Adolph, 86. 

Fisher, Walter L., 227. 



413 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



Ferber, Edna, 365. 
Farber, Rabbi H., 144. 
Frankel, Hiram D., 87. 
Folz, Samuel, 86. 
Friedman, Jacob, 91, 219. 
Friedlander, Dr. Israel, 191-192. 
Fox, Dr. G. George, 273. 
Frank, Mrs. Louis, 41. 
Frankel, Dr. H. C, 161. 
Frank, Mortimer, 316. 
Fish, Mr. Joseph (Corsant) 127, 
Freeman, B. H., 142, 276. 
Freeman, Mrs. B. H., 142. 
Felstenthal, Dr. Bernard, 7, 22, 

34-35> 55> 58, 73> 86, 90, 105, 

139, 199, 2 5 6 - 
Felsenthal, Miss Julia, 41, 139. 
Frank, Jacob M., 22. 
Friedlander, L. M., 22. 
Franklin, Miss Perl, 233-234-235. 
Franklin, Miss Lillian, 233-234. 
Frankenstein, Alfred, 368. 
Freedlander, A. A., 361. 
Finkelstein, 161. 
Frank, Henry L., 20. 

Gallman, C. L., 141. 
Ganz, E., 161. 
Gatzert, August, 22. 
Geller, Todros, 348, 353, 401. 
Gerber, Hattie, 32. 
Gesas, Michael, 151. 
Gessler, Samuel, 316. 
Gimbel, Mrs. Jacob W., 141. 
Ginsberg, Baron, 190. 
Ginsberg, Bernard, 86. 
Ginsberg, Charles, 98, 119. 
Ginsberg, Mrs. Dorothy, 316. 
Ginsberg, Max, 119. 
Ginsberg, Louis, 98. 
Ginsberg, Samuel, 98, 119, 151. 
Ginsburg, Dr. Joshuah, 103. 
Ginsburg, Mrs. Joshuah, 105. 
Ginsburg, M. Ph., 15, 181, 183, 

248, 266, 322, 33 I -332-333-334- 
Ginsburg, Samuel, 248, 331. 



24: 



33- 

[20, 



>> 



Ginsburg, Chaye Etta, 331. 
Glickman, Elias, 356. 
Godowsky, Leopold, 381. 
Goldberg, Abe, 223. 
Goldberg, Hyman, 30, 32, 50. 
Goldberg, D., 161. 
Goldberg, Isaac, 86. 
Golden, Charles, 119. 
Golden, Samuel, 321. 
Goldman, Dr. Solomon, 260-261. 
Goldman, Mrs. S., 105. 
Goldschlager, Miss Belle, 406. 
Goldstein, J., 119. 
Goldstein, W., 161. 
Goodman, Max I., 103. 
Goldzier, Julius, 312, 315. 
Goodspeed, Dr. Thomas W., 198. 
Gordon, Benjamin, 357. 
Gordon, Jacques, 384. 
Gordon, Jehudah L., 73. 
Gorelick, 352. 
Gottheil, Dr. Gustav, 90. 
Gottschalk, L. Gaston, 381. 
Gradova, Gitta, 384. 
Graff, Sol. K., 265. 
Greenebaum, Benjamin F., 314. 
Greenebaum, Gus M., 86. 
Greenebaum, Henry, 314. 
Greenebaum, Henry, 22, 59, 86. 
Greenebaum, Henry G., 316. 
Greenebaum, James E., 141. 
Greenebaum, Moses E., 212, 28. 
Greenberg, Rabbi J., 265-266. 
Greenblau, Solomon, 339. 
Guttiman, Gerson, 266. 
Gresham, Mrs. M., 141. 
Gresham, Miss Lillian, 385. 
Grissheimer, Fred, 385. 
Grossberg, Jacob G., 19, 31-32, 51, 

250-251-252. 
Grossberg, Nathan T., 14-15. 
Grossfield, Harry, 105. 
Grossman, Herman, 22. 
Grossman, Leonard J., 315. 

Haffenberg, A., 161. 
Haimowich, Mad., 355. 



414 



INDEX 



Halper, Albert, 366. 

Halper, H., 224. 

Halperin, Dr. George, 187, 386. 

Halperin, Dr. Robert L., 98, 1 19-120. 

Halperin, Mrs. Robert L., 120. 

Hamburger, Mrs. Alfred L., 368. 

Hamburger, E. C, 22, 86. 

Hamburger, Mrs. E. C, 141. 

Hamil, Charles H., 284. 

Harris, A. J., 105, 314-315. 

Harris, Capt. I., 99-100. 

Harris, Esther, 50-51, 384. 

Harper, Dr. William R., 50. 

Hart, Marx, 202. 

Hartman, Joseph S., 26, 26. 

Hausman, Maurice M., 86. 

Hecht, Ben, 365. 

Hecht, M., 141. 

Hecker, Col. Frederick, 83. 

Heller, Ernstine, 50. 

Heller, Judge Samuel, 307. 

Heller, Selig, 348, 35I-35 2 - 

Heifetz, Yasha, 392. 

Herman, Henry, 86. 

Henrotin, Mrs. Charles, 40-41-42, 44. 

Henry, Alice, 120. 

Herzfleld, Louis, 98. 

Herz, John, 200. 

Herzl, Dr. Theodor, 87-88-89, 95-96, 
178, 221, 232, 245, 260. 

Hess, Mrs. Charles, 41. 

Hess, Sylvan E., 86. 

Hillman, Mrs. Ed., 200. 

Hillman, Sidney, 62, 207-208-210. 

Hindsell, B., 161. 

Hirsch, Dr. Emil G., 6-7, 20, 22, 
25-26, 28-29-30, 55, 57-58, 79, 97, 
119-120, 137-138, 171, 178-179, 
184, 189, 192, 199, 212, 218-219- 
220, 241, 252, 316, 331, 358-359- 
360. 

Hirsch, M. M., 77, 87. 

Hirsch, Sol, 22. 

Hirschbein, Perez, 357-358. 

Hirschberg, Rabbi Abraham, 175, 

361. 



Hirschfield, Pessie, 353. 
Hircheimer, Louis D., 314. 
Hoefeld, Albert, 141. 
Hoffman, Samuel A., 318. 
Horner, Judge Henry, 305, 408. 
Horner, Isaac, 315. 
Hornstein, Leon, 186, 316. 
Horwich, Bernard, 55, 88-89-90, 97, 
116, 137-138, 185, 189, 237-238, 

Horwich, Harris, 55-56-57, 64-65, 74- 
75, 88-89-90, 117, 137, 185, 248, 266, 
296. 

Horwin, Harry, 93. 

Horwin, Isador, 92. 

Horwin, Mrs. Isador, 92. 

Horwitz, Rabbi Abraham, 272. 

Horwich, Tillie, 93. 

Horwitz, Samuel C, 311. 

Hurwich, Prof. Isaac, 47, 49-50. 

Howard, Earl Dean, 209-210. 

Indritz, Morris, 34b. 
Isaacs, Judge Martin, 306. 
Isaacson, Louis, 161. 
Israelstam, Harry, 119. 

Jackson, Philip, 315. 

Jackson, Louis, 22. 

Jacobs, Minnie Berlin, 66, 68-69. 

Jacobs, William, 406. 

Jacobson, Elias Simon, 381. 

Jacobson, J. Z., 347-348, 369-370. 

Jaffe, Julius, 53. 

Jaffe, Louis, 54. 

Janowitz, M., 185. 

Jastrow, Prof, 231. 

Jerusalimsy, Bertha, 98, 120. 

Jarusaolimsky, Amalia, 98. 

Jones, Rev. Jenkin Lloyd, 50, 57, 

205, 242, 249. 
Jones, Sigmund, 314. 
Jonesi, William A., 53. 
Joseph, Moe, 188. 



415 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



Kadison, Dr. A. P., 14-15, 37, 74, 

, I55 ' 
Kadushin, Rabbi Max, 271. 

Kahn, Julius, 87. 

Kallis, David, 314. 

Kallis, Mrs. Kal, 105. 

Kanter, Jacob, 103, 161. 

Kanter, M., 192. 

Kanter, Rose, 50. 

Kaplan, Abe, 223. 

Kaplan, Bessie Birdie, 386-387. 

Kaplan, Nathan D., 104, 117-118- 

1 19-120, 123-124, 146-147, 152, 168, 

249, 291, 301. 
Kardon, Rabbi A. I., 248, 263, 265. 
Kargau, Dr. Emanuel, 387. 
Kargau, Mrs. Emanuel, 387. 
Kargau, Olga, 386-387-388-389. 
Karasick, Mrs. Harry, 93. 
Katz, Alexander Raymond, 406. 
KatzofT, Jacob, 98. 
KatzofI, Julius, 98. 
Kaye, Dr. Maurice J., 92. 
Kaye, Mrs. Maurice J., 93. 
Kellner, Charles, 406. 
Kessler, David, 355. 
Kipnis, Alexander, 384. 
Kiss, M., 8. 
Klapper, Dr. Zan, 93. 
Klein, Samuel, 86. 
Kline, Sol, 280-281. 
Knopf nagel, Dr., 14, 19. 
Koch, Col., 100. 
Koenigsberg, David, 161. 
Kohn, H. H., 314. 
Kohler, Rabbi Kaufman, 27. 
Kohn, Dr. Adolph, 316. 
Komaiko, S. B., 104, 154-155-156, 348. 
Komaiko, Mrs. S. B., 155. 
Komissarsky, Rabbi Joseph, 6. 
Korb, Rabbi Chayim, 265. 
Korshak, Max M., 188, 215, 309, 316. 
Kozminsky, Charles, 86. 
Kraus, Adolf, 20, 76-77-78-79-80-81- 

82, 86, 250, 252, 300, 315. 
Kraus, Albert, 289. 



Kraus, Dr. Harry A., 87, 288-289. 
Krup, Nehami, 366. 
Kuppenheimer, Louis D., 200. 
Kuppin, Rabbi Louis, 390-391. 
Kurz, Adolph, 141. 

Lackritz, Paul N., 104. 

Lait, Jack, 365. 

Lamont, Robert P., 295. 

Lang, Bertha Loeb, 368. 

Lange, Bernhard A., 86. 

Lappin, Robert C, 87. 

Lasdon, Mrs., 161. 

Lasker, A. D., 280, 313. 

Lasker, Isidor, 104. 

Lavin, William, 266. 

Lawrence, Morris, 112. 

Lazar, Ben Zion, 64-65, 266. 

Lebeson, Anita Libman, 372-373-374. 

Leibowich, Hyman, 15. 

Lederer, Charles, 314. 

Lefkowitz, Louis, 94. 

Lehman, Alexander, 390. 

Leipunsky, Joseph, 15. 

Leon, Samuel J., 87. 

Leopold, Mrs. Max, 41. 

Lesser, Rabbi A. G., 6, 158, 161, 270. 

Lesser, Mrs. Lee J., 239. 

Lesser, Meyer, 49. 

Loevenger, Isaac, 15. 

Levenson, A., 74. 

Levenson, Mrs. A., 232. 

Levenson, Leah, 147. 

Levenson, Morris K., 250. 

Leventhal, Rabbi, 90. 

Levi, Dr. Gerson B., 34, 177-178-179- 

180, 360. 
Levi, Israel, 177. 
Levi, Hirsch, 177. 
Levi, Mrs. Gerson B., 177-178-179. 
Levi, Leo N., 77, 82, 85. 
Levin, Abe, 161. 
Levin, Anna, 232. 
Levin, Edna, 368. 
Levin, H., 248. 
Levin, Rabbi Morris, 291. 



416 



INDEX 



Levin, Samuel, 23, 62, 208, 211, 266. 

Levin, Schmarya, 78, 162. 

Levine Isaac, 50, 385. 

Levine, Isaac Don, 365. 

Levinson, Dr. A., 366-367. 

Levinson, Rabbi Jacob, 224. 

Levitan, Max, 314. 

Levitan, Mollie, 232. 

Levitan, Solomon, 87. 

Levy, Dr. Abraham R., 7, 22-23-24, 

37, 55, 58, 1 19-120. 
Levy, Beatrice S., 404. 
Levy, Dr. Felix A., 271-272. 
Levy, Robert, 311, 313. 
Levy, Harold L., 311, 318. 
Levy, Heniot, 384. 
Levy, Jacob, 94, 158-159- 160- 161. 
Levy, Dr. Kate, 48-49, 104, 240. 
Lewis, J., 22. 
Lewis, Roman G., 334. 
Lewisohn, Adolph, 79. 
Lieberman, Abraham, 9. 
Liebling, Emil, 380. 
Liebling, Abe, 338. 
Liebling, J., 337. 
Liebsohn, Jennie, 98. 
Liebsohn, Anna, 98. 
Lichtig, Edward, 87. 
Lichstein, Mr. A. J., 200. 
Liessin, 350. 
Lindheimer, Jacob, 315. 
Linenthal, J., 185. 
Ling, Louis, 11-12. 
Liph, Sampson, 24. 
Lippman, Dr. William, 93. 
Lipton, Lawrence, 366. 
Lipschulch, Dr. George U., 314. 
Lipschulch, Mrs. R., 161. 
Lipsky, Harry A., 50, 121, 139, 153, 

171, 189, 191, 314-315-316, 334. 
Lipzin, Madam, 355. 
Littman, Adolph, 335. 
Livingston, Charles, 22. 
Livingston, Sigmund, 86. 
Loeffler, William, 107, 314-315. 
Loevenger, Gustavus, 87. 



Loeb, Mrs. Albert H., 239. 
Loeb, Miss Bertha, 41, 120. 
Loeb, Jacob M., 169-170-171-172-173- 

174, 192. 
Loeb, Johannah, 70-71, 120, 169-170. 
Loeb, Moritz, 169. 
Loeb, Hamilton M., 290. 
Loeb, Max, 316. 
Loeb, Sidney, 22. 
Loeb, Sidney, 400. 
Loebner, James B., 334, 33 6 '337'33 8 - 
Lorber, Dr. Z., 342. 
Low, Minnie F., 66, 68-69, 73, 242. 
Lowenhaupt, Jessie, 48. 
Lowenheim, Rabbi A. A., 141. 
Lowenthal, Berthold, 22, 199. 
Lowenthal, Sol L., 314. 
Luster, Judge Max, 307. 
Lurya, Isaac, 188. 
Lurya, Michael, 30-31. 
Lubin, Leo, 406. 
Lubliner, Sigmund, 86. 
Lyons, Mable, 385. 
Lyon, Sidney, 314. 

Magnes, Dr. J. L., 281, 364. 

Mack, Judge Julian W., 22, 48-49, 

106, in, 127-128-129-130-131, 138, 

184, 188, 192, 280, 300, 308, 313, 

315, 368. 
Markus, Dr. Isral, 223. 
McClintock, Prof., 5. 
Mandel, Mrs. Leon, 200. 
Mandel Bros., 20. 
Mandel, Emanuel, 20. 
Mandel, Leon, 20. 
Mandel, Simon, 20. 
Mangazarian, M. M., 56. 
Manheimer, Rabbi Eugene, 87. 
Manheimer, Ira, 314. 
Mann, Louis L., 191-192, 252, 254- 

255-256, 258. 
March, Miss Jennie, 92. 
Margolin, Dr. A. M., 338-339. 
Margolis, Abraham, 104. 
Margolis, Rabbi, 146. 



417 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



Marmor, Kalmon, 334-335, 34 -34 r - 

Marks, Adolph, 314. 

Markham, Charles H., 295. 

Marshall, Louis, 195. 

Mason, Morris, 357. 

Marrock, George, 161. 

Mayer, Ben S., 87. 

Mayer, Herbert, 313. 

Mayer, Hy., 369. 

Mayer, Julius H., 86. 

Mayer, Levy, 300, 314. 

Mayer, Mrs. Levy, 212. 

Mayer, Sy, 315. 

Mead, Prof., 205. 

Mehlman, S. I., 74. 

Meislish, Jacob, 93. 

Meites, Hyman L., 98, 119, 151, 232, 

244, 248, 361. 
Meites, Eliezer, 15, 361-362. 
Melamed, S. M., 334-335-336, 338. 
Mendel, Rosalie, 367-368. 
Mendelsohn, Rabbi S. Felix, 273, 361. 
Meriam, Charles, 206. 
Merenske, J., 313. 
Messing, Rabbi A. J., 55. 
Meyer, Julius H., 141. 
Miller, I., 151. 
Miller, Oscar Von, 296. 
Minchen, Nina M., 392. 
Miner, Julius, 311. 
Mischakoff, Mischa, 384. 
Mitchell, Charles M., 314. 
Meyer, Rose, 368. 
Meyerowitz, Dr. M., 158, 160. 
Meyerson, Mrs. Harry J., 278. 
Molner, Herman, 105. 
Moment, Mrs. H., 232. 
Monsky, Henry, 87. 
Montefiore, Moses, 10. 
Moos, Bernard, 316. 
Morais, Rabbi Sabato, 177. 
Morgenthau, Henry, 106. 
Morris, Henry, 119. 
Morris, Louis, 119. 
Morris, Nelson, 313. 
Moses, Adolph, 86, 316. 



Moses, Rabbi I. S., 6, 55, 58. 
Moulton, Prof., 50. 
Muhlinan, Adolph, 382-383. 
Muskin, Rabbi Eliezer R., 149, 224, 
263. 

Nahin, Dr., 14. 
Nahutin, Alexander, 392. 
Nast, Mrs. Samuel, 141. 
Natalson, M., 334. 
Nathan, Adolph, 40. 
Nathan, Bessie, 158, 161. 
Nathan, Marks, 9, 157, 160. 
Nathanson, William, 345, 347. 
Natkin, Mrs. Isidor, 98, 120, 167- 

168, 232, 234. 
Neebe, Oscar, 11. 
Nelson, Abraham, 321. 
Newberger, Rose L., 120, 141. 
Newberger, S. E., 103. 
Newberger, Wm. S., 312. 
Newman, Emanuel, 359, 363. 
Newman, Rabbi, 38. 
Newman, Mair, 22. 
Nichols, 204. 
Nierman, Ben, 385. 
Noah, M. E., 324. 
Norden, Rabbi Aaron, 22, 58, 66, 

314. 
Norden, Miss Jennie, 72. 
Nordau, Max, 89. 
Nussbaum, Miss Flora, 41. 

Obregon, Gen., 325-326-327-328. 
Olitzka, Madam Rosa, 384. 
Oppenheimer, Mrs. H. D., 141. 
Oreckovsky, Charles D., 87. 
Oshinsky, Rabbi, 90. 
Ostrowsky, Sam, 399-400. 
Ostrowsky, Mrs. Sam, 278. 

Palmer, Samuel, 321-322-323. 
Paly, Ben, 392. 

Pam, Judge Hugo, 84, 248-249, 301- 
302-303-304, 357. 



418 



INDEX 



Pam, Alexander, 301. 

Pam, Cecelia, 301. 

Pam, Max, 301, 304. 

Papina, A. J., 338. 

Patl, Mrs. Sarah, 278, 357. 

Pavlaska, Irene, 389. 

Pedott, Dr. Jas., 218, 220, 291, 369. 

Perez, J. L., 349. 

Perlman, Charles, 93. 

Perlstein, Miss Jennie, 231. 

Perlstein, M., 158, 160-161, 266. 

Pfaeltzer, David M., 316. 

Phillipson, C, 119. 

Philipson, Jas., 103-104, 158, 356. 

Philipson, Samuel, 189, 248, 282-283, 

293. 
Piez, Chas., 295. 
Pincus, Samuel E., 314, 316. 
Pine, Max, 191. 
Piner, George S., 104. 
Pinsker, Dr. Leo., 56, 88. 
Pinsky, David, 357-358. 
Pirosh, Mrs. B., 72. 
Piser, Thomas, 278. 
Piatt, B., 98, 119. 
Plotke, Nathan M., 315. 
Plotke, Isador, 314. 
Polacco, George, 384. 
Pollacheck, Victor, 120, 165. 
Pollack, A. L., 406. 
Pollack, P. D., 104, 119. 
Pollack, Robert, 366. 
Pollack, Sidney, 308-309. 
PolokofT, Sam, 92. 
Porges, Mrs. Leo, 72. 
Poncher, M., 161. 
Prenowitz, J. S., 351. 
Prindeville, Ed., 139. 
Pritzker, Harry, 318. 
Pritzker, Nicholas, 94, 158, 160-161. 
Privian, J., 161. 
Priviansky, Jacob, 158. 
Pruzin, Miriam, 385-386. 
Purvin, Mrs. Moses L., 239, 242-243. 



RabinorL Max, 93. 
Radzinsky, Isaac A., 141-142. 



Raisin, Abraham, 350. 

Rappeport, Dr. Julius, 316. 

Rappeport, M., 93. 

Rappeport, M. B., 74. 

Read, Bertha, 234. 

Regensberg, Rob. H. D., 265. 

Reichman, R., 86. 

Reinberg, Peter, 322. 

Reingold, Isaac, 352. 

Reingold, Isaac, 335. 

Reinhart, Dr. Morris, 334. 

Reis, Mrs. Ignace J., 70-71. 

Reis, Mrs. Ignace J., 278. 

Reitman, Leo, 87. 

Reiwich, Herman, 30, 32, 120. 

Reiwich, Herman, 364. 

Reiwich, Herman, 104. 

Ricart, Mrs., 206. 

Ridkin, H., 74. 

RindiskofT, Louis, 86. 

Rissman, Paul, 323. 

Rissman, Samuel, 357. 

Ritman, Hyman B., 318. 

Ritman, Louis, 406. 

Ritter, John, 314. 

Robin, Mrs. I. J., 72. 

Robins, Mrs. Raymond, 205. 

Robinawich, Louis, 15. 

Roderick, Solomon P., 314. 

Roe, A. S., 15, 147, 161, 189. 

Roisa, Rosa, 39 2 -393"394"395- 

Romberg, Mrs. Edwin, 383. 

Romberg, Mrs. Edwin, 120, 164-165- 

166. 
Romberg, Col. Edwin, 251. 
Roscoe, Miss Ida, 98. 
Rose, Ivy, 406. 
Rose, M., 206. 
Rosenbaum, Miss Etta, 41. 
Rosenberg, David, 74. 
Rosenberg, Michael, 314. 
Rosenberg, Michael, 316-317. 
Rosenberg, Moe, 317. 
Rosenberger, Jesse C, 199. 
Rosenblatt, S. J., 188, 190, 215, 236- 

2 37' 2 3 8 > 3°9> 3 l6 - 



419 



CHICAGO AND ITS ]EWS 



Rosenfeld, Maurice, 381-382. 
Rosenfeld, Morris, 350. 
Rosenfeld, Simon, 86. 
Rosenthal, James, 27, 285, 316. 
Rosenthal, Julius, 20, 22, 26-27-28. 

283-284, 294-295-296. 
Rosenthal, Lessing, 48-49, 202. 
Rosenthal, Moritz, 318, 284, 284. 
Rosenthal, Moritz, 48. 
Rosenwald, Julius, 22, 121-122-123 

1 24- 1 25- 1 26- 1 27, 131, 162-163, I 7° 

172, 190, 195, 197, 200-201-202 

249, 286, 291, 293. 
Rosenwald, Mrs. Julius, 162-163, 239 
Rosenwald, Adele Levy, 164. 
Rosenwald, Edith Stern, 164. 
Rosenwald, Marian Stern, 164. 
Rosenwald, Lessing J., 164. 
Rosenwald, William, 164. 
Rosenzweig, Dr. G. K., 98, 150-151 
Roth, Cecil, 283. 
Rothenberg, /Paul, 324-325-326-327 

329. 
Rothschild, A. M., 40. 
Rothschild, Isaac S., 314. 
Rothschild, Jas., 160-161. 
Rothschild, Mrs. M. C, 293. 
Rothschild, Melville N., 141. 
Rubin, J. C, 266. 
Rubinstein, B., 161. 
Rubinstein, H., 223. 
Rubinstein, H. B., 161. 
Rubinstein, Rabbi H., 262. 
Rubinstein, Samuel, 357. 
Rudens, S. P., 366. 
Rudovitz, Christian, 224-225-226-227 
Rubovits, Ed., 58. 
Rubovits, Toby, 58-59. 
Ryerson, Joseph T., 295. 

Sabath, Adolph J., 313. 

Sabath, Adolph J., 107, 111-112-113 

114, 183, 247. 
Sabath, Gus., 112. 
Sabath, Jacob, 112. 



Sabath, Joseph, in, 114. 

Sabath, Morris, 112. 

Sabbath, Joseph J., 30. 

Saches, Miss Fay, 104. 

Sachs, Hannah, 164. 

Sayer, Mrs. Leon D., 235. 

Sahud, Wm., 369. 

Saltiel, Wm., 316. 

Salzenstein, Albert, 86. 

Sametini, Leon, 192. 

Samkovitz, L., 214. 

Samkovitz, 188. 

Samuels, Ben, 87. 

Samuels, Benjamin J., 86. 

Sand, Samuel, 342. 

Savit, Mrs. Julius, 274. 

Savit, Julius, 222. 

Schaefer, Simon, 314. 

SchafTner, Charles, 22, 26, 29, 119, 

175-176. 
SchafTner, Charles, 29. 
SchafTner, Mrs. Jas., 201. 
SchafTner, Jas., 208-209-210. 
Scharkansky, N., 350. 
Schatz, Prof. Boris, 118, 120. 
Schechter, Dr., 144. 
Scheineman, Abe, 385. 
Scheiner, Frank, 319-320. 
SchifT, B. J., 158, 189. 
SchifT, Benjamin J., 281-282. 
SchifT, Benjamin J., 293. 
SchifT, Jacob, 406. 
SchifT, Jacob H., 194. 
SchifT, Jacob H., 79. 
Schiller, Jay J., 307-308. 
Schiller, Joseph P., 54. 
Schlessinger, Benjamin, 61-62. 
Schlessinger, Ben, 335. 
Schlossman, Leon, 22, 86. 
Schnadig, Joseph, 22. 
Schneider, Samuel A., 15, 73. 
Schnee, Toby V., 391. 
Schoenfeld, Flora, 406. 
Schonfarber, Tobias R., 361. 
Schrager, Dr. V. C, 105. 



420 



INDEX 



Schulman, Joseph J., 307. 
Schwab, Joseph, 314. 
Schwab, Michael, 11. 
Schwartz, Charles, 369. 
Schwartz, Moritz, 218. 
Schwartz, Sam D., 218-219-220. 
Schwartz, U. S., 315. 
Schwartz, Wm. S., 372. 
Schwartz, Wm. S., 404-405. 
Segal, Isador, 332. 
Segal, Mrs. 161. 
Seelenfreund, A. B., 83. 
Seilenfreund, A. B., 87. 
Selekowich, G., 334. 
Seligman, Isaac M., 79. 
Selz, Morris, 198. 
Seman, Philys, 291-292. 
Seman, Philys, 357. 
Sesking, Morris, 335, 341. 
Shaffer, I., 161. 
Shapiro, B., 161. 
Shapiro, Bernard J., 221. 
Shapiro, David, 103. 
Shapiro, David, 185. 
Shapiro, George, 50. 
Shapiro, George, 385. 
Shapiro, Isaac, 53. 
Shapiro, Isaac, 316. 
Shapiro, L., 343-344. 
Shapiro, Morris, 54. 
Sholem, Alberthem, 354. 
Shulman, Max, 75, 98, 117, 119, 

151-152, 232, 236, 248-249. 
Shur, Wolf, 16. 
Sider, M., 74. 
Siegel, A., 74. 
Siegel, Jacob, 334, 341. 
Siegel, 185. 

Siegel, Rabbi Sam S., 265. 
Silbert, Morris, 222. 
Silver, Mrs. Augusta H., 231. 
Silver, Rabbi Abbo Hillee, 190, 

248, 264, 266. 
Silverberg, Henry, 93. 
Silverman, Lazarus, 164. 
Silverman, W. S., 161. 



150- 



224, 



Silversmith, Ed. W. Occident, 7. 

Simon, Mrs. E. H., 105. 

Simon, George W., 24. 

Simon, Joe, 103. 

Simon, Sol, 314. 

Singer, Dr. Isidor, 25. 

Singer, Dr. Isidor, 135. 

Singer, Rabbi Jacob H., 273. 

Sisskind, Morris, 60. 

Sissman, Peter, 14, 60, 8o,- 226. 

Skolink, A. H., 354-355. 

Slimmer, Abraham, 105, 140-141. 

Sloan, B. C., 98, 119. 

Sloan, I., 119. 

Sloan, Matthew, 119. 

Sloan, M. C., 119. 

Smitz, Harry, 311. 

Sabel, Louis O., 54. 

Soberoff, Mrs. S. H., 235. 

Sodwoysky, Mr., 129. 

Salk, J., 119. 

Solomon, Lieut. Col. Edward S., 83. 

Solomon, Hannah. G., 14, 17, 42-43- 

44-45, 55, 66, 73, 235, 278. 
Solomon, Moses, 314. 
Salmonson, Dr. Max, 93. 
Sonnenschein, Edward, 86. 
Sirkin, Dr. Nachum, 222-223. 
Spiegel, Harmil L., 314. 
Spiegel, Mods J., 316. 
Spies, August, n-12. 
Spivak, Mrs. Jonah, 278. 
Spivak, Jonah, 334, 341. 
Sprague, Albert A., 295. 
Starr, Frederick, 50. 
Star, Rabbi, 264. 
Steele, Samuel B., 141. 
Steif, Wolf, 94, 1 60-1 61. 
Stein, L. M., 347-348, 353, 370, 372. 
Stein, Judge Philip, 47, 86, 300, 308. 
Steinberg, H., 151. 
Steinberg, Louis, 158. 
Steinberg, Louis, 160- 161. 
Steiner, Sam, 103. 
Stein, Julius, 22. 
Stein, Julius, 316. 



421 



CHICAGO AND ITS JEWS 



Stein, Nathaniel A., 315. 

Stern, Mrs. Alfred K., 162. 

Stern, Renee B., 368. 

Stettauer, Mrs. Charles, 4. 

Stewart, Robert W., 295. 

Stolz, Leon, 369. 

Stolz, Rabbi Joseph, 22, 35-36-37, 55, 

58, 120, 138, 180, 239, 316. 
Stone, A. C, 160-161. 
Stone, Mrs. Julius, 105, 189, 239-240- 

241, 293. 
Straus, Jas., 315. 
Straus, Joseph, 314. 
Straus, Oscar, 79. 
Straus, Robert Lee, 369. 
Straus, Simeon, 157. 
Strelitsky, Jacob C, 86. 
Sudavsky, Wolf, 74. 
Sultan, Dr. George, 53, 314. 
Sulzberger, Clara, 286. 
Sulzberger, Frank L., 286. 
Sulzberger, Judge, 276. 
Sulzberger, Judge, 279. 
Sulzberger, Solomon L., 279-280, 286, 

276. 
Summerfeld, Hattie, 368. 
Svvetow, R., 103. 
Swift, Harold H., 295. 
Swimmer, Harry, 86. 
Szold, Henrietta, 232, 238-239. 

Tashrak, 336. 
Taussig, Samuel, 86. 
Taylor, Graham, 50. 
Teller, Rabbi Morris, 270. 
Thorne, Charles H., 295. 
Tolchin, Morris, 342, 443. 
Tomashefsky, 355. 
Topchinsky, Morris, 406. 
Tower, Mrs. Morris, 105. 
Trilling, I., 74. 
Tubenkin, Elias, 121-122, 366. 
Turner, August, 15, 74, 105. 
Turner, Rabbi Jacob, 105. 
Tuvin Bros., 60. 



Ullmann, Henry, 86. 
Ungerleter, Rabbi M., 144. 

Van Praag, Sol, 314. 
Van Zandt, Nina, 12. 
Veneck, Frank, 320. 

Waiss, Capt. Herman, 99-100. 
Ward, Mrs. Joseph, 72. 
Waxman, Dr. Meyer, 265, 360. 
Weber, Abraham C, 360. 
Weil, Jonas, 86. 
Weil, Julius, 22. 
Weinberg, Mrs. M. A., 278. 
Weiner, Abe, 406. 
Weiner, Adolph D., 86. 
Weiner, Louis, 406. 
Weinshenker, Samuel E., 314. 
Weisback, Harry, 384. 
Weisman, Miss May, 141. 
Weitzman, Dr. Ch., 131. 
Wetmore, Frank O., 295. 
Wiernik, Peter, 15, 17, 49, 74, 331, 

333- 
Wigmon, John H., 28. 

Wigmore, Dean John H., 283. 

Wiltartz, William, 86, 141. 

Wise, Rabbi Isaac Mayer, 7, 55, 358. 

Wise, Dr. Stephen S., 179, 272, 302. 

Witkowsky, Miss Esther, 41. 

Wolf, Albert H., 22. 

Wolf, Henry M., 22. 

Wolf, Hyman S., 103. 

Wolf, Jacob, 277. 

Wolf, Mrs. Louis J., 41. 

Wolf, Max, 314. 

Wolfeuster, Dr. Samuel, 1 40-141. 

Wolff, Arnold, 87. 

Wolfsohn, Carl, 380. 

Wolfson, David Joel, 369. 

Wolpe, Azrel, 103. 

Wolpe, L., 74. 

Wolpe, W., 15. 

Wolpert, Dr. B. E., 98. 

Woolner, Samuel, 86. 

Wormser, David, 196. 



422 



INDEX 



Wormser, Frida, 196. 

Wormser, Leo F., 189, 197-198-199, 

269. 
Wormser, Leo F., 294-295. 

Yarros, Victor, 369. 
Yawshitz, Philip, 119. 
Yehoash, 357. 
Yehoash, 350. 

Yudelson, Dr. A. B., 120, 144-145- 
146-147. 

Zangwill, Israel, 89, 136, 329. 
Zeublin, Prof. Charles, 32, 57. 
Zeisler, Mrs. Fannie Bloomrield, 18, 
380, 384. 



Zeisler, Sigmund, 308. 

Zevin, Mardecai, 223. 

Zevin, Morris, 223. 

Zhitlowsky, Dr. Ch., 343, 347, 222- 

223. 
Zimanshy, D., 161. 
Zimanshy, W., 161. 
Zimbalist, 392. 
Zioni, I., 334. 
Ziv, Louis, 104. 
Zola, Emir N., 314. 
Zoline, E. N., 88, 90. 
Zolothoff, Leon, 16, 73-74, 88-89-90, 

97, 115-116, 137, 238-239, 318, 331- 

332-333-334* 337-338, 3 66 > 3 68 - 
Zolothoff, Meyer, 369. 
Zukovsky, Alex, 166, 379, 383-384. 



423 



-0 XV